Bernard Arnault, owner of VUITTON searching for inspiration or just checking up on competition ?

Tuesday late evening together with CEO of Dior, Mr Sidney Toledano, Mr Bernard Arnault, owner of Louis Vuitton and the LVMH Group was spotted inspecting the site of a closed HERMES boutique within the luxury shopping gallery at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. He actually took the time to enter the closed store, which was most probably left open accidentally.

HERMES which is ten times smaller than Vuitton has not only been showing strong financial performances but has continued its expansion strategy, without making any efforts to strengthen its brand awareness as quality and craftmanship are part of its DNA. Mention should be made that Vuitton has been running aggressively for the past 2 months its campaign showcasing the quality of its hand made products, which has been met with mixed reviews by the connaiseurs as well as luxury industry specialists.

As for Las Vegas, the crisis has taken its toll on both luxury hotels and retail sales at luxury stores. With the arrival of Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Aria Hotel the five star market has become overcrowded, many hotels showing dropping occupancy rates. The Ritz Carlton has even decided to close its property in Las Vegas this Spring. The main shopping area at the Bellagio has been losing out to CRYSTALS, a new shopping mini mall with a stand alone street location on Las Vegas Boulevard. Louis Vuitton already opened a 6 storey shop in Crystals and Hermes relocated to Crystals its boutique from Bellagio. GUCCI is set to open a 500 sqm store in Crystals by the beginning of summer.  

Oliver Petcu , CPP