Hermes to raise prices after Q4 sales boom

PARIS — Birkin bag maker Hermes said it will raise prices this year after sales jumped 17.5% in the fourth quarter of 2023, demonstrating the resilience of high end shoppers despite economic headwinds.

Sales for the three months to the end of September totalled 3.36 billion euros ($3.62 billion), up 17.5% at constant foreign exchange rates. That was ahead of expectations for 14% growth, according to Visible Alpha consensus estimates.

The company plans to lift prices by between 8% and 9% this year globally, executive chairman Axel Dumas told reporters on Friday.

One of the most consistent performers in the luxury goods industry, Hermes has a track record of outpacing rivals when economic conditions deteriorate, thanks to its classic designs and careful management of production and stocks, which helps maintain the label’s aura of exclusivity.

Handbags like the coveted $10,000 plus Birkin model are affordable only for the wealthiest shoppers — who are typically the more immune to choppy economic conditions.

Hermes will pay a 4,000 euro bonus to each of its over 22,000 employees worldwide, the company said. — Reuters