Louis Vuitton sales hit by Hong Kong protests

Friday, 17 October 2014
The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are keeping consumers away from the city centre's stores.

LVMH, the Louis Vuitton parent group, warned Wednesday that the continuing protests in Hong Kong were having an effect on its business as fewer travellers made their way to its boutiques.

Louis Vuitton's finance executive Jean-Jacques Guiony said there have been fewer shoppers in stores in downtown Hong Kong as the protests disrupt travel, especially by large tourist groups.

Guiony said that while sales in its selective retail stores in downtown Hong Kong were lower earlier this month, overall sales at duty-free airport stores were unaffected.

It also admitted its key fashion and leather division sales weakened in China in Q3 compared to Q2 and that its star brand Louis Vuitton was hit harder than its other high end brands.

However Louis Vuitton, which accounts for more than half of group profits, saw stable margins in the three months ended September 30.

Luxury sales in Hong Kong fell up to 40 percent during the Golden Week holiday (October 1-7) as political unrest hurt purchases by mainland Chinese, according to Luca Solca, head of luxury goods at Exane BNP Paribas. Solca said Macau sales were also subdued during this all-important retail week. "Luxury companies say they are seeing better support in Korea, Taiwan and Singapore," Solca added.

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