Luxury brand

Handbags at dawn: Chanel duels South Korean resellers in luxury boom

  • Seoul luxury demand from customers soars as COVID cuts vacation, responsibility-cost-free getting
  • Chanel keep targeted visitors down 30% considering that it began screening customers
  • Bulk buyers find $10,000 bags, resell well earlier mentioned retail outlet rates
  • Pre-dawn queues for ‘open runs’ outside the house Chanel boutiques
  • South Korea 7th-greatest luxurious sector in planet – Euromonitor

SEOUL, March 17 (Reuters) – As COVID curbs lower vacation and duty-no cost buying, South Koreans are driving a luxurious items boom at household that has still left Chanel barring just about a 3rd of would-be buyers to quit bulk buyers snagging $10,000 bags for resale with markups of 20% or much more.

The storied French vogue and luxury firm informed Reuters it has seen targeted traffic to its boutiques in South Korea skid given that it began screening for shoppers it considered could possibly be stocking up purely to flip to many others in the resale sector.

“We were being capable to discover them (bulk potential buyers) immediately after having analysed their buying styles. Considering that this policy was executed, the visitors in our boutiques has diminished by 30%,” Chanel instructed Reuters in a statement. It failed to disclose specifically how it considered those people shoppers to be probable bulk customers, and the privately owned business isn’t going to disclose product sales figures by place.

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Chanel’s approach, executed given that July very last year, arrived as global demand for luxurious items was picking up soon after the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. South Korea is the world’s seventh-most important luxury items marketplace according to Euromonitor, and the study business estimates it was a single of only two of the best 7 markets by earnings – the other staying China – to see sales mature past yr from 2019 concentrations.

Supply at makes like Chanel, nevertheless, is tightly controlled, preserving exclusivity and boosting enchantment with no on the web purchasing possibility outside of cosmetics, perfumes and some compact extras. These is the appetite in downtown Seoul that long queues type in advance of dawn outdoors division shops as consumers brace for what’s identified as an ‘open run’ – a sprint to Chanel’s doors at opening time.

“I arrived … at 5.30 a.m. for an open up run and I was notified that there were being more than 30 persons in entrance of me,” a shopper instructed Reuters in front of a Chanel boutique in Seoul. Talking on ailment of anonymity mainly because of privacy issues, he explained by the time he entered the store – just about 10 hours later – the product he preferred was offered out.

Reflecting this kind of red-hot need in the resale current market, a Chanel medium traditional flap bag was offered at 13.5 million won ($11,031) – 20% more than its regular retail rate – in January on KREAM, a platform offering all the things from sneakers to tech and luxury products that is an affiliate of tech giant Naver Corp (035420.KS).

KREAM, an acronym for ‘Kicks Rule Everything All around Me’, was launched in 2020. It advised Reuters its monthly transactions exceeded 100 billion received in December, and claimed South Korea’s resale sector is worth far more than 1 trillion received – virtually $820 million – even at the most conservative estimates.


Although resale platforms like KREAM present a range of manufacturers, Chanel, like Swiss watchmaker Rolex, is a particularly sought-right after manufacturer because of its position amid couples in South Korea as one of the most preferred wedding day items, and recurrent value boosts of its most legendary handbags.

Chanel amplified charges of some handbags, add-ons and seasonal completely ready-to-dress in previously this thirty day period in Asia and Europe, such as by 5% in South Korea – in which selling prices have just been elevated for the fifth time in nine months, according to Chanel Korea. read a lot more

In tandem with its screening for bulk purchasers, Chanel said it has executed a “queue management technique”: Clients are requested to give their speak to selection and motive for browsing the keep so that they can be educated by way of textual content messages when they will be equipped to enter the boutique.

Model professionals and buyers are divided on the effect of the new getting pattern on Chanel.

“Individuals are voluntarily performing free of charge advertisements for Chanel – camping outside (boutiques), accomplishing open operates, posting their ordeals on social media,” stated Lee Eun Hee, a professor of customer science at Inha University.

“I feel all all those phenomena have assisted Chanel draw young shoppers and make a big chunk of money off it.”


Nevertheless, some shoppers say extended queues and waiting around lists have put them off.

“I just gave up obtaining a Chanel item extensive in the past,” explained a Seoul resident in her 30s, declining to be named because of to privateness concerns.

“It really is as well hard to obtain one, with some 300 individuals ordinarily on a waiting around record, and by the time it is my turn, there is no products remaining. This actually places me off and I will not want to be at the centre of this craziness.”

Not supplying up any time quickly are the bulk customer-resellers.

Talking on issue of anonymity due to the fact of the sensitivity of the subject, some resellers advised Reuters they’re selecting “line standers” for a rate of up to $125 a working day to stand in queues or enter retailers on their behalf.

A person reseller in his 30s told Reuters he is been reselling his purchases at ordinarily additional than 20% income – and it can be far far more worthwhile when stock stage is low.

He stated he offered a Chanel flap card holder lately on secondhand market application Karrot for approximately 1 million won, 40% above its retail rate – 5 minutes right after it went up for sale.

($1 = 1,223.8700 gained)

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Reporting by Heekyong Yang in Seoul and Silvia Aloisi in Milan Enhancing by Miyoung Kim and Kenneth Maxwell

Our Specifications: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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