By Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh
BEIJING (Reuters) -Louis Vuitton, LVMH’s top fashion brand, will raise prices globally on Wednesday as a result of increased manufacturing and transportation costs, a spokesperson for the French luxury goods company in China told Reuters.
Louis Vuitton, the world’s biggest luxury brand, will become one of the first big labels in the industry to hike prices widely this year to protect its margins as costs soar.
The price increases will affect Louis Vuitton stores worldwide and cover leather goods, fashion accessories and perfumes, the spokesperson said on Tuesday. She did not give further details on the scale of the rises, beyond saying that they would vary depending on the product.
“The price adjustment takes into account changes in production costs, raw materials, transportation as well as inflation,” the label said in a statement given to Reuters.
Some bloggers on Chinese social media said the price of some models of handbags such as Capucines and Neverfull, now priced at 46,500 yuan ($7,323) and 12,000 yuan ($1,890) respectively, would rise by 20% or more in China, without citing sources.
PurseBop, a website tracking the luxury market, cited speculation that the increase would be between around 4% on the lower end and 15-18% on average on the higher end.
Presenting record 2021 sales and profits for the fashion and leather goods division, which is led by Vuitton and Dior, LVMH’s billionaire boss Bernard Arnault said in January the group had enough wiggle room to increase prices in an inflationary environment but would have to be “reasonable.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, luxury goods companies have been taking advantage of surging demand for high-end fashion and accessories to push their brands even more upmarket.
Chanel increased prices on some of its handbags three times last year, with the popular Classic Flap bag, currently selling at $8,200, now costing $3,000 or nearly 60% more than before the pandemic in 2019.
($1 = 6.3496 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh in Beijing, additional reporting by Mimosa Spencer in Paris; writing by Silvia Aloisi, ediitng by Alexander Smith)