January 30, 2020 / 3:13 PM / a month ago

Ex-Luxottica boss Guerra to head LVMH's hospitality, restaurant business - sources

MILAN/PARIS (Reuters) - Former Luxottica boss Andrea Guerra is set to join LVMH to head the French luxury goods giant’s hospitality and restaurant business, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Guerra, 54, stepped down from operational responsibilities at Eataly, a high-end food retailer where he became executive chairman after a decade at the helm of Ray-Ban owner Luxottica. He also had a stint as a government adviser on industry and business.

One of the sources said Guerra’s role at LVMH would be a broad one, overseeing all activities linked to hospitality and restaurants, tapping into growing demand for top-notch travel and food.

Companies such as LVMH are increasingly turning to so-called “experience” luxury - providing services and activities that complement their core products.

LVMH - best known for its fashion and handbag brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, and which also owns champagne labels such as Moet & Chandon - has recently started bulking up in the hotels business.

Its first major acquisition in this area was the $2.6 billion swoop in late 2018 for the Belmond group, which operates hotels including Portofino’s Hotel Splendido and train services such as the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

The group has developed its own high-end chains, under the Bulgari and Cheval Blanc brands, including the five-star boutique hotel part of the refurbished La Samaritaine department store LVMH will reopen in Paris in the spring.

Reporting by Valentina Za in Milan, Sarah White in Paris; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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