Luxury goods maker Hermes sees no sign of affluent cutting spending

FRENCH luxury goods maker Hermes sees no sign yet of affluent buyers tightening their purse strings in spite of a sombre global economic outlook.

Speaking at the brand’s show at Paris Fashion Week yesterday, chief executive Patrick Thomas said: “For the moment, there is no impact on our sales.”

He added that he believed the purchasing power of luxury consumers had not changed yet.

“But the fact that we see nothing today, does not mean that we will not see anything tomorrow,” said Thomas.

“When there are moments of macroeconomic concern, they always tend to affect our markets.”

The luxury goods industry has continued to grow at a solid pace thanks to tourist buyers in Europe and strong appetite in emerging markets, while more affordable products such as L’Oreal and Clarins cosmetics have felt a slowdown.

Hermes, known for its €10,000 euro Kelly handbags, joins the chorus of luxury brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Lanvin who have declared buoyant trading, despite lower consumer confidence.

Last week, luxury goods stocks such as Burberry, LVMH, Swatch and Richemont took a beating as analysts expressed concern the Chinese market – the industry’s main growth engine – could slow and global demand could weaken.

Late last month, investors started putting pressure on luxury valuations, based on the expectation that market could be hit just as others have been.