Tag Archives: Hermes

Hermès Informal Guide To China’s GDP Growth


Here is another informal indicator of the stalling of the recovery in China’s economy in the first quarter of this year. The chart above shows the quarterly sales growth over the past nine quarters of Hermes, the Paris-based fashion and luxury-goods maker, in Asia outside of Japan. That is predominantly sales to Chinese in China and those shopping in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Singapore. The figures are at constant exchange rates. Taking the broader regional sales mitigates to some extent  last year’s crackdown on conspicuous consumption within China.  But the pattern is clear, recovery in the fourth quarter of 2012, followed by a big splutter in the first quarter of this — although still within the context of some pretty robust growth.

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Putting A Price On Luxury

Can you put a price on the cachet of a luxury logo? Seems you can and, in Chanel’s case, it is as much as 200 yuan ($31). The Shandong Business News (here, in Chinese) reports that the largest of the luxe-goods maker’s paper carrier bags are selling for that much on the online shopping site Taobao. Shopping bags from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Ferragamo are also in demand from aspirational consumers who can’t afford the haute couture that goes inside the bags but still want to look as if they are shopping at those brands’ stores.

True, this is a phenomenon seen the world over, and as the Shandong Business News notes, the same thing is happening in South Korea with Burberry’s carrier bags. The local twist is that when Prada and Channel introduced transparent bags this summer (so you could see what was inside), what also popped up on Taobao but cheap yellow protective dust bags being promoted as looking like rough silk and an ideal liner for see-through bags. Others then can’t see that you’ve just got a pair of old trainers in your Prada bag–and not a pair of the brand’s expensive, high-fashion shoes.

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Filed under Industry