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Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings Ltd (CPRI.N) on Wednesday cut its annual profit forecast and provided a dour outlook for 2024, blaming a slowdown in demand from department stores for its luxury handbags and apparel and sending its shares tumbling 24%.

Luxury brands weathered decades-high inflation better than others for most of last year, but analysts warned that accessible luxury names like Michael Kors are likely to feel a bigger pinch due to their core young, less wealthy customer base being more affected by economic downturns.

Capri said third-quarter sales fell 6%, driven by a 20% fall in revenue from its wholesale channel, which includes department stores and other retailers.

In contrast, Louis Vuitton owner LVMH (LVMH.PA) reported a 9% increase in the holiday quarter sales in January, showing that demand at the very high-end of fashion is still strong.

"The wholesale channel has been very cautious about how much inventory they still have, and until excess stocks are cleared it makes sense for retailers to be more conservative with their purchase orders," said Jane Hali & Associates analyst Jessica Ramirez.

Revenue for Michael Kors, Capri's biggest brand, fell 4.5% to $777 million in the Americas during the third quarter.

The brand's revenue from Asia dropped nearly 18% as China's decision to dismantle its zero-COVID policy late last year spurred a surge of infections and dulled store traffic.

Capri, which also owns Jimmy Choo and Versace, cut its annual sales forecast to $5.56 billion, from $5.70 billion. It lowered its earnings per share guidance to $6.10 from $6.85.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.84 per share in the third quarter, missing analysts' estimates of $2.22, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

It also forecast fiscal 2024 earnings per share of $6.40 on revenue of $5.8 billion. Analysts expect earnings per share of $7.24 on revenue of $6.03 billion.

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