Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bagging the Rich: Louis Vuitton

I just finished reading this article on PurseBlog.com about Louis Vuitton trying to raise their prices so as to attract a more high end customer, and I thought it an extremely interesting approach towards increasing sales as well as trying to change their clientele.
I think over the past two years it has been extremely clear who buys and wears Vuitton bags--everyone. Their bags tend to be heavily monogrammed. I think it's this monogram and its link to luxury that has taken the bag from the exclusivity of years prior, to the mainstream repertoire that comes with distribution within the mass market.

On any given day I can guarantee I will see an LV purse several times --from in school, to people in the malls, to women on the bus--I have become completely desensitized to them.
 So would I buy one? Absolutely not-- well at least not one that has Louis Vuitton plastered all over it, I prefer less ostentatious pieces, like this Balenciaga I wrote about last year-- and on top of that I couldn't afford to spend a semester's tuition on a hand bag, so I get mine at ZARA.

I do believe they are now trying to get back to the point of exclusivity as well to similarity of design of brands like Céline, and Givenchy, which are both owned by the same company LVMH-- and at a stretch they seem to aim to be on the same plane as Hermès, whom they claim raises the prices of their bags regularly. However, I'm not quite sure Vuitton can rank themselves on the same level as Hermès considering $5000 is the cost of Hermès' cheapest bag, and as stated by PurseBlog, when you're catering to high profile customers with great buying power an extra $500 added to their $5000 Hermès price tag, really wouldn't dent their pockets.

So, bottom line, Louis Vuitton is obviously feeling the pressure to increase sales and their level of exclusivity, whether this is the best strategy to use to go about it, and whether this tactic will work, can only be seen in the next two quarters. But guaranteed we might be seeing less and less of the monogram that initially made them so popular.


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