Bernard Arnault’s LVMH empire continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Louis Vuitton is the biggest luxury brand out there now and LVMH’s apparent play for Hermés is the fashion biz drama that everyone is watching right now–now that the Dior designer succession has finally been resolved, that is. But where will LVMH end up? The Economist took a look at Arnault and his empire and we learned quite a few things. Because it’s Friday and we know you’re tired, we read it so you don’t have to.
Click through for the 10 things we learned about LVMH.
•LVMH is the most profitable luxury group out there: It owns more than 60 different brands and sales are expected to reach $33 billion this year.
•LVMH is huge in Japan: 85% of women in Japan own a Louis Vuitton product.
•LVMH now owns 22.3% of Hermés.
•Dior was in sad shape when Arnault bought it: He spent 10 years buying back 350 Dior licenses that were “cheapening” the brand.
•Sephora stores were too much “like supermarkets” when LVMH bought the chain: Arnault hired a former Staples (yes, the office supply store) manager to downsize and up-luxe the cosmetics chain. It worked.
•It’s estimated that fewer than five of LVMH’s businesses lose money. (Ooh, which ones do you think they are?)
•Louis Vuitton is LVMH’s cash cow: It “accounts for 37% of the group’s sales and most of its profits.”
•You will never find Louis Vuitton “on discount.”
•Louis Vuitton bags are half the price in France as they are in China, so lots of Chinese shoppers buy them while on vacation in France.
•Louis Vuitton, who arguably kicked off the whole logo-mania thing in the 90s, is trying to use the monogram less. Currently it’s only on about 25% of its products.
The downside is that Arnault and LVMH can’t rely on LV forever, because eventually Louis Vuitton is going to stop growing. Higher-ups at the company supposedly used to say, “The day we launch a fragrance, we don’t have growth any more.” In January, WWD reported that a Louis Vuitton fragrance is on the way. Make of that what you will, but soon LVMH will have to find another cash cow.
Do you think they can turn one of their other brands into the next Louis Vuitton?