France’s Chanel has no immediate plans for online sales of its coveted outfits or handbags, making it one of the fashion world’s last hold-outs as rivals experiment with websites to win over new clients.
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel, said the house will draw the line there for the foreseeable future.
According to Reuters, Pavlovsky told a Vogue conference in Paris: “If you give everything to everyone straight away, I think you lose that exclusivity. I’m not saying we won’t try it one day, but if we do it will be because we’ll really think there’s some added value.”
The label, known for its tweed suits and $4,300-plus quilted leather bags, already sells perfumes online, like its Chanel No. 5, as well as eyeglasses and beauty products.
Web sales will make up some 10 percent of revenues in the luxury goods market this year, which projects they could reach 25 percent by 2025, according to consultancy Bain.
Pavlovsky said that Chanel’s out-of-step attitude was not a drag on the business, adding that the label, founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1910, was reaching an increasingly young audience and had waiting lists for best-selling bags.
According to figures filed with the Amsterdam exchange, Chanel’s net profit fell nearly 35 percent in 2016 and sales dropped 9 percent to $5.7 billion. Most major rivals have enjoyed a sales bounce in 2017.
But buyers want to try on the clothes, Pavlovsky said, adding that the business would look into providing “e-services” to allow buyers to reserve items online or make store appointments.
“Every time I’m in China I meet clients who come and say, ‘whatever you do don’t do e-commerce. The day you do it for us this won’t be exclusive anymore’,” Pavlovsky stated.