Luxury Group Chanel Raises Prices, But Not in China


The increases, following three price rises in 2021, mean some of its signature handbags now cost up to twice what they did before the pandemic

 

French luxury group Chanel has again increased prices on some of its products, but has excluded the China and US markets from the rises.

The increases, following three price rises in 2021, mean some of its signature handbags now cost up to twice what they did before the pandemic in 2019.

Major luxury brands have raised prices throughout the coronavirus emergency to protect margins and, more recently, to counter rising costs of transport, logistics and raw materials.

But Chanel has been more aggressive than rivals, in a move that analysts say also aims to increase the exclusivity of the brand.

Its small classic handbag cost 7,750 euros ($8,454) on Chanel’s French website on Friday, 6% more than in November last year. The same bag sold for 5,500 euros in January 2021 and 4,550 euros in November 2019.

According to analysts at Jefferies, Chanel has raised prices of its iconic handbags by an average of 71% since before the pandemic. In Hong Kong, the small classic handbag now costs 96% more than at the end of 2019.

“What has been implemented yesterday is not a price increase, but a harmonisation of the prices of our entire in-store offer,” Chanel said in a statement.

The company said it aimed to “avoid excessive price disparities between the markets where we are present”.

A spokesperson confirmed that prices on its core handbags and accessories and seasonal ready-to-wear rose on Thursday by 6% per cent in the euro zone, 5% in Britain, 5% in South Korea, 8% in Japan and 2% in Hong Kong.

Prices remained unchanged in China and the US.

The increases are the first to be imposed under Leena Nair, Chanel’s chief executive, who was appointed in December 2021. She was formerly global head of personnel at Unilever.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.