The poster child for “true” luxury, Hermès, reported a 19% increase in first quarter sales, or approximately $651 million. Sales growth has been huge at Hermès’ own stores, with a 26% increase noted. The jump was attributed to leather goods, accessories, perfumes and especially watches.
Of course, Hermès’ ability never to veer off-brand has served the company well. But what else is in the secret sauce? Accessibility that’s not too accessible. The new Voyage d’Hermès fragrance sells for $90-$125. This is a palatable price for luxury merchandise and an easy entry point for someone wanting a piece of a brand. Hermès watches sell for about $2000-$4000. While definitely a hurdle for many shoppers, it’s much less than, say, a Birkin.
Since Hermès merch is so classic, I suspect consumers with means would be more willing to drop a few thousand dollars on items that they perceive will be timeless. Maybe the fact that Hermès just did away with its Birkin “wait list” also contributed to its recent sales success.
Who’s running to Hermès to shop?