"Have you heard? LV is going to increase the price. Call me what you want. The price increase this time is quite large. Now you can save a thousand yuan by placing an order." Recently, a luxury brand Louis Vuitton (Louis Vuitton) Vuitton rushed the news of the price increase to the hot search.

Immediately, Anna (pseudonym), who lives in Japan and works part-time as a shopping agent, posted the above content in her circle of friends.

  According to the hot search "LV will increase prices by 20%", from February 18th, Louis Vuitton will increase the price of global products, ranging from 8% to 20%. The price increase has only been in the past two months.

Hot search for price increase triggers consumers to rush to buy handbags, clerk says he has not received notice of price increase

  As soon as the news of Louis Vuitton's price increase came out, instead of being cold, it "ignited" some consumers' desire to buy.

Xiao Yao (pseudonym), a consumer in Beijing, told the Beijing News Shell Finance reporter: "The recent Louis Vuitton is like an 'exhibition' with only empty shelves and a queue."

  Xiao Yao considers herself a regular customer of Louis Vuitton. She visits the store two or three times a year and has salespeople she knows well.

According to her recollection, after learning the news of the upcoming price increase, she rushed to the store that night, but it was still a step late.

"I waited at the door for nearly 20 minutes before anyone received me." Xiao Yao said that her goal this time was to "carry home" the presbyopic handbag Carryall launched by the brand in July last year, but when she asked the clerk, she was told that This bag is out of stock and cannot be pre-ordered.

  In line with the idea of ​​"try not to make a trip in vain", Xiao Yao asked about several other popular models, but there were no exhibits that could be tested.

In desperation, Xiao Yao's shopping trip of "queuing for 20 minutes and asking for goods for more than ten seconds" ended here.

  At 11 a.m. on Monday, February 6, a reporter from the Beijing News Shell Finance came to the Louis Vuitton store in the Financial Street Shopping Center in Beijing. Although there were only a few customers in the store, the reporter still lined up under the guidance of security guards. .

The security guard told reporters that the queue at this time was due to the lack of sales staff in the store and could not complete the one-on-one service.

Before the Spring Festival, there were indeed more people queuing up at the store than usual, but after the Spring Festival, the passenger flow decreased.

  After waiting for about 5 minutes, the reporter walked into the store led by a female salesperson.

According to reports, in the store, apart from Xiao Yao's favorite carryall handbag, styles such as "postman handbag", "horn handbag", and "baguette handbag" are also out of stock.

During the period when the reporter was trying to memorize samples of other styles, the sales staff kept emphasizing that "if you want to order popular styles, you can order them directly, and they will arrive in about two weeks", and "you must rush to buy them again when they are in stock."

  At 1 p.m., a reporter from the Beijing News Shell Finance came to a Louis Vuitton store on the first floor of a certain hotel in Beijing. Unlike the financial street store, there were fewer consumers in the store and no one lined up outside the store.

The salesperson who received the reporter said: "Other stores in Beijing are located in shopping malls, and many customers have the mentality of 'going shopping while taking a look'. When the reception capacity is insufficient, they will naturally line up. Most of the customers who come to our store are There is a strong consumption purpose." When the reporter asked whether the price will increase in the near future, the salesman said, "Although the outside world is rumored that the price will increase, many customers also order two or three bags in one go, but we have not accepted it so far. To the notice of price increase."

  Luxury brands have repeatedly raised prices, what is the reason?

  Although it is still unknown whether the price will increase or not, Xiao Yao said, "I would rather believe it."

"In my impression, the price increase of luxury brands has become the norm, such as Chanel. I used to be a 'fan' of this brand, but in recent years, the price of this brand of handbags has risen too 'outrageously', and I gradually stopped paying attention. "

  As Xiao Yao said, since 2020, Chanel has raised prices nearly 8 times.

The eighth price adjustment on November 2 last year almost covered the classic Chanel handbags familiar to most consumers, and the increase ranged from 700 yuan to 4,000 yuan.

In addition to Chanel, Saint Laurent also adjusted the prices of some commodities in the Chinese market in October last year. The overall increase of the niki series was around 20%, such as the adjustment of the niki mini lambskin bag from 17,900 yuan to 20,600 yuan.

Tiffany raised the prices of all products on November 4 last year, ranging from 20% to 59%.

  A spokesman for LVMH has said the price increase is due to increased manufacturing and shipping costs.

However, Dongxing Securities also pointed out that although brand owners generally explain price increases as factors such as raw materials, manpower, taxation, and inflation, which lead to rising costs, forcing end products to increase prices, judging from the gross profit margin and cost structure of the luxury goods group , luxury goods have a higher gross profit margin and are less affected by rising costs.

  According to Zhou Ting, director of the Yaoke Research Institute, there are four main purposes for luxury brands to raise prices: “One is to create a brand image of luxury brands that maintain and increase value, stabilize core consumers’ desire to buy and improve customer loyalty; The price increase stimulates consumers' desire to buy in order to achieve the purpose of promoting sales; the third is to widen the price gap with mass brands to further screen and differentiate consumers; the fourth is to maximize sales and profits within the acceptable range of customers."

  Zhou Ting believes that in recent years, with the explosive growth of the luxury market brought about by various reasons such as consumption upgrades, price increases have become one of the most commonly used marketing strategies for luxury brands.

The reason behind this is that, on the one hand, the market has accepted it, so that the brand has tasted the sweetness; on the other hand, price increases have become a trend, and super brands compete with each other, using price increases to show their brand status, while the following brands can only passively follow up , resulting in continuous price increases.

  At the same time, she also emphasized that the more the price increases, the more you buy. This is the effect that the brand hopes to see, and it is also the reason for the brand's "uncontrolled" price increase.

  Louis Vuitton's parent company plans to crack down on purchasing agents

  When Louis Vuitton's popular handbags were "out of stock", many people turned their attention to purchasing agents.

According to Anna's recollection, during the Spring Festival alone, she received more than a dozen Louis Vuitton purchasing orders, four of which are carryall, the brand's current popular style.

  According to Anna, during the Spring Festival this year, there were almost no long queues outside the Louis Vuitton stores in Tokyo. Although some styles were out of stock, they would be notified to pick up the goods within 3 to 4 days after booking.

At present, she has helped customers buy 3 "horn handbags" of different sizes and two carryalls.

However, Anna also said that recent purchases have encountered "resistance" from the brand level.

"Many luxury brands now have invisible purchase restrictions. For example, each person can only buy three handbags at a time. If the number exceeds this amount, they will be told 'out of stock'."

  There are indeed traces of the "resistance" Anna encountered.

In the recent 2022 earnings conference call held by LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, its chairman Bernard Arnault emphasized that he will resolutely fight against purchasing agents.

  For example, Bernard Arnault said that South Korean airports and duty-free shops have few tourists, but the duty-free business has generated huge sales revenue, which is "very intriguing."

Jean Jacques Guiony, Chief Financial Officer of LVMH Group, said that in the past two years, a large number of duty-free products at discounted prices have poured into the Chinese mainland market.

  Bernard Arnault emphasized that the group is determined to maintain its brand image, and rejects and opposes the purchasing behavior of luxury and beauty products.

He said the group was fighting parallel exports, "some of our fellow distributors buy products from other markets abroad and then sell them at a discount in China, so we are determined to avoid that".

  According to analysts in the industry, LVMH’s resistance to purchasing agents is directed at the strong “business atmosphere of purchasing agents” between China and South Korea’s duty-free markets.

Statistics show that before 2019, South Korea once became the world's largest duty-free market and relied on Chinese purchasing agents to survive.

During the epidemic, in order to attract purchasing agents from China, Korean duty-free shops launched a series of measures such as online direct mail and profit-sharing promotions.

  This approach undoubtedly stimulated the nerves of the brand.

It is understood that since 2021, many luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Rolex have successively closed their counters in duty-free shops in South Korea, leaving only a few counters.

Louis Vuitton said that the purchasing behavior had a negative impact on the brand image, so it decided to withdraw the store.

  In addition to damaging the brand image, purchasing agents are also eroding the rights and interests of some consumers.

According to relevant surveys by the Yaoke Research Institute, purchasing agents are one of the hardest-hit areas for counterfeit goods, and the counterfeit rate in the private purchasing agent market has reached over 80%.

For the Louis Vuitton brand, the market size of counterfeit goods generated by purchasing agents is estimated to be more than 10 billion yuan per year.

  In this regard, Zhou Ting said that the act of purchasing on behalf of others must be resolutely resisted.

"For brands, disrupt market order and affect price policies, making it impossible for brands to directly face and serve customers; for consumers, giving counterfeit products an opportunity to take advantage of their rights and interests cannot be guaranteed, and ultimately harm themselves; for the country, loss of tax revenue, Affecting business order." She said that LVMH's crackdown on purchasing agents appears to be to maintain the global market order, especially the stability of the price system, but in fact it is to combat counterfeit goods, which shows the group's determination to serve all customers directly, and also indicates that the group has It is possible to make a big change in the business model, that is, from selling products to managing customers.

  Beijing News Shell Finance reporter Yu Menger