Louis Vuitton’s sales in Korea slump

SEOUL (The Korea Herald/ANN) - Luxury brand Louis Vuitton has fallen behind its rivals in the South Korean market, with sales dipping into minus territory this year, industry data showed Monday.

The sales growth rate of Louis Vuitton has backtracked this year at the nation’s major department stores, losing its market prestige as one of the most desired luxury brands, industry sources said Monday.

According to market insiders, sales of the French luxury brand at a department store between January and October slipped 5.3 percent from the same period last year, while that of its rival luxury brands, Chanel and Hermes, rose 11.2 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively. At another department store, sales of Louis Vuitton dropped 2.1 percent while Chanel and Hermes respectively surged 13.7 percent and 17.1 percent. The department stores were not identified.

Louis Vuitton Korea, the local importer and distributor of the French fashion and jewelry brand, operates as a limited company here and is therefore not required to disclose its sales records. Chanel Korea and Hermes Korea are also not obligated to do so. Louis Vuitton Korea was launched as an incorporated company, but it became a limited company in 2012 in the face of public criticism over its low corporate outreach despite considerable profits here.

The French fashion house has enjoyed popularity in the recent past, targeting young women with its monogram series. Market insiders say Louis Vuitton appears to have lost some of the brand value from its rarity, focusing on bags priced 2 million won ($1,790) that have become an affordable range for customers in the luxury segment. Meanwhile, Hermes and Chanel have targeted the higher end segment, keeping their price range within the highest level of the market.

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