After Europe, Louis Vuitton raises prices in Japan

From February 15, Louis Vuitton raised some prices of its products by an average 12 percent in Japan, the biggest price hike of the brand, to offset the impact of the yen’s slide on sales. Retailers such as LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods maker, are confronting a plunge in the yen that undercuts the value of sales in Japan, the second-biggest market for personal luxury goods.

The yen has depreciated against both the dollar and the euro as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked down the value of the currency, promising to implement policies to stimulate the economy and have Japan’s central bank set a 2 percent inflation target. Finance officials from the Group of 20 this month signaled Japan has scope to stimulate its economy, as long as policy makers cease publicly advocating a weaker yen.

“There’s a risk of a currency battle” after the yen plummeted at the end of last year, LVMH Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault said Jan. 31. Arnault, France’s richest man according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, said Jan. 31 that Louis Vuitton prices would be raised on Feb. 15 in Japan. LVMH got 8 percent of its revenue from Japan in 2012.

The Japan units of Tiffany & Co. and Hermes International SCA aren’t considering raising prices at the moment, according to company officials who asked not to be identified, citing company policy. A spokeswoman for Prada SpA declined to comment on the possibility of higher prices.

adapted from Bloomberg

Louis Vuitton, Tokyo at Mitsukoshi