Hermes: The purchasing power of luxury consumers had not changed yet

Hermes says buying power of luxury clients unchanged

French luxury goods maker Hermes sees no sign yet of affluent buyers tightening their purse strings in spite of a somber global economic outlook, the head of the brand said at Paris Fashion Week.

The luxury goods industry continues 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.

“For the moment, there is no impact on our sales,” Hermes Chief Executive Patrick Thomas told Reuters at the brand’s fashion show in Paris, adding that he thought 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,” he added. “When there are moments of macroeconomic concern, they always tend to affect our markets.”

Hermes, known for its 10,000-euro Kelly handbags, joins the chorus of luxury brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton and Lanvin that said recently trading remained buoyant even if consumer confidence was down.

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.