Business and Management
Submitted By woshiluyi
margins associated with Vuitton handbags, gun cases, and luggage dis- playing the distinctive beige-on-brown latticework LV monogram. Louis Vuitton SA spends $10 million annually battling counterfeiters in Turkey, Thailand, China, Morocco, South Korea, and Italy. Some of the money is spent on lobbyists who represent the company’s interests in meetings with foreign government officials. Yves Carcelle, chairman of Louis Vuitton SA, recently explained, “Almost every month, we get a govern- ment somewhere in the world to destroy canvas, or finished products.”
Another problem is a flourishing gray market. Givenchy and Christian Dior’s Dune fragrance are just two of the luxury perfume brands that are sometimes diverted from authorized channels for sale at mass-market retail outlets. LVMH and other luxury goods marketers recently found a new way to combat gray market imports into the United States. In March 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an appeals court ruling prohibiting a discount drugstore chain from selling Givenchy perfume without permission. Parfums Givenchy USA had claimed that its distinctive packaging should be protected under U.S. copyright law. The ruling means that Costco, Walmart, and other discounters cannot sell some imported fragrances without authorization.
Opportunities and Challenges in Asia
Asia—particularly Japan—is a key region for LVMH and its competi- tors. The financial turmoil of the late 1990s and the subsequent currency devaluations and weakening of the yen translated into lower demand for luxury goods. Because price perceptions are a critical component of luxury goods’ appeal, LMVH executives made a number of adjustments in response to changing business conditions. For example, Patrick Choel, president of the perfume and cosmetics division, raised wholesale prices in individual Asian markets. The goal was to discourage discount...