The Korea Herald


Sales of Europe luxury goods up after FTA


Published : Sept. 16, 2011 - 20:22

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European fashion brands are enjoying increased demand here after a free trade pact between Korea and the EU took effect on July 1, industry sources said Friday.

French brand Louis Vuitton logged 91.2 billion won ($82.6 million) between July 1 and Sept. 14, up 16.9 percent from 78 billion won a year earlier.

Chanel sales increased 14.6 percent to 44 billion won during the same period, while Hermes saw a 11.4 percent increase with sales rising to 15.6 billion won.

Compared to the well-off French brands, Italian fashion house Gucci recorded 36.4 billion won in sales with a slight 1.9 percent increase.

“There is little difference in prices but the psychological barrier seems to be somewhat lowered due to the ‘FTA effect,’” an industry source said.

Despite some price cuts following the FTA, the prices of European luxury goods have increased compared to last year.

Louis Vuitton had raised product prices twice in the first half of the year. Gucci has refused to lower prices as its products are shipped in Switzerland, out of the European Union.

Hermes decreased prices an average of 5 percent. Chanel also lowered its prices 5 percent after a 25 percent increase in May.

“There is no sign of subsiding in Korean consumers’ fever for luxury goods. The sales, which have been centered in the metropolitan area, start to spread fast to nationwide,” the source said.

By Lee Ji-yoon (