China’s ever increasing economic clout has again been reflected in a survey on consumer tastes in luxury goods which has shown the nation not only knows what goods it wants, it most certainly now has the means by which to buy them.
A report released this week by Bain & Company has claimed China is now the fastest-growing consumer of leather goods and jewelry worldwide.
Its overall luxury market has grown 23 per cent this year, meaning it’s on target to reap some 84.3 billion yuan (9.2 billion euro).
But what the world really wants to know is what are the Chinese after. According to this report, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci are the most lusted-for brands. Continue reading →
Hermes rejected on Wednesday “an attack” on its capital by luxury goods giant LVMH, sounding the start of what could become a bitter battle for control of one of France’s most iconic brands.
The head of LVMH, Bernard Arnault announced he had bought 17 percent of his rival Hermes, insisting that this does not herald a hostile takeover but that he simply wanted to become a “friendly” long-term shareholder.
“If you want to be friendly, Mr Arnault, you should withdraw,” retorted Hermes executives Bertrand Puech and Patrick Thomas. Continue reading →
Luxury conglomerate LVMH said Saturday it had taken a 14.2 percent stake in Hermes but denied it wanted to take over the French luxury goods firm.
The company controlled by French businessman Bernard Arnault said it wanted to boost the stake to 17.1 percent at a total cost of 1.45 billion euros (two billion dollars) but was not seeking even representation on the Hermes board.
The move makes LVMH the largest Hermes shareholder after the heirs to the family share of around 70 percent.
There has been speculation about the future of Hermes, known for its fine leather goods and silk scarves, since the death of its charismatic head Jean-Louis Dumas. Continue reading →
Hermes has opened its first boutique for its new brand Shang Xia — a bold strategy that highlights China’s growing importance to luxury goods companies.
“We are very moved — this is like the birth of a child,” Hermes chief executive Patrick Thomas said ahead of the inauguration of the shop in Shanghai.
The store, a picture of minimalist chic, offers clothing, home furnishings, shoes and tableware — a collection inspired by tea, and made from traditional Asian materials such as bamboo, cashmere and porcelain. Continue reading →
There are limits to how far a luxury company can diversify its operations without diluting its brand or confusing consumers, experts said this week.
A jeweler might successfully launch a perfume but a handbag maker might not and it is easier for a jeweler to look credible producing watches than it is venturing into making handbags, they said. Continue reading →
The luxury goods market is rebounding from the slump caused by the global recession, but analysts say upscale sellers will be facing a hard slog due to changing demographics and lingering consumer caution.
Global luxury goods industry sales are expected to grow four percent in 2010 to 158 billion euros (195 billion dollars) after a painful 8.0 percent decline in 2009, according to the consulting firm Bain & Company. Continue reading →
Jean-Louis Dumas, who chaired the French luxury goods group Hermes for almost three decades until 2006, has died at the age of 72, his spokesman said on Sunday. He died on Saturday in Paris.
Dumas took over in 1978 as head of the illustrious fashion and luxury house, which was founded by his family five generations earlier, in 1837.
Under his leadership, Hermes became a global brand, turning over 1.9 billion euros in 2009, with wide-ranging interests including stakes in the prestigious German camera maker Leica or Jean-Paul Gaultier’s fashion house.
Seems as if even Hermes is not recession-proof: according to shopping blog shefinds.com, a previously almost unattainable Hermes Birkin bag can now be bought by anyone — if you’re ready to spend $6,500 or more, that is.
The Birkin, one of the best-known statement bags, can cost up to six digits and is frequently worn by Hollywood A-listers.
“Then we called around to HermÃ¨s, and found out there is no more silly waiting list — they told us we could walk right in and get one today.” Continue reading →