Wednesday, 13 May 2009

No bags of bags for Bags Bunnies

Fashionista would never willingly confess to being a 'Bags Bunny', but she was tantalised to read this piece from the Wall Street Journal on how Hermès are building up a serious passion among devoted customers by producing their to-die-for Birkin handbags so slowly that you have to join a waiting list in order to buy one.

This marketing ploy has its pluses and its minuses. On the plus side, Hermès can maximise profits per unit by minimising output, also keeping such close control on their desirable products that the provenance of each bag is known. Also, where there are waiting lists for the genuine goods, sellers outside recognised distribution channels are almost proclaiming that their products are fakes. On the downside, the fewer genuine bags are made and, the harder they are to obtain, the greater is the profit that can be secured if a trader can pass a fake product off as a genuine one. Says Fashionista, this is a tough decision to call: let's watch how Hermès play the market and judge whether this policy works or not.
Hat-tip to Lorraine Fleck for the link.