LUXURY PRESS DIGEST 14TH APRIL

Luxury Fashion, Retail & Consumer Goods

PRICE DROPS ALONE WON'T BOOST LUXURY SALES IN CHINA
Business of Fashion reports that one of the biggest stories to come out of the global luxury industry in recent weeks was Chanel’s decision to increase prices for some handbags in Europe, while lowering prices in mainland China. Chanel isn't the only brand that has been spurred into action by currency fluctuations, rampant grey market sales in China and a yawning global price gap. Other brands to recently announce price adjustments include Cartier, Tag Heuer and Patek Phillippe. This could be just the tip of the iceberg. However, price drops alone won't cause a massive reversal of fortunes for luxury brands in mainland China.

ASK JO MALONE: NEW HELPING HAND FOR SMALL BUSINESS
The Evening Standard reports that Walpole board director and successful businesswoman Jo Malone MBE now wants to help other London entrepreneurs: “I love being around people who get up and do something and make a business happen, and I want to help them,” she explains. To that end, she is becoming the Evening Standard’s new business agony aunt — problem-solving for companies big and small every Monday. “I really want to hear from people who are struggling with something that they really can’t find an answer to, because sometimes throwing it into the middle of a table and letting someone else think about it is the way to get a solution,” she says.

HERMÈS KEEPS LUXURY IN THE FAMILY
Hermès is one of the world's most recognisable luxury brands, but it's also notable for its long independence, while other luxury brands have been snapped up by bigger rivals. Current boss Axel Dumas gave the BBC's Sally Bundock a tour of his flagship London store, and talked about remaining independent, selling luxury online and reaching Asian markets on BBC Business Live:

LVMH SPIRITS SALES BEAT FORECASTS, FASHION DISAPPOINTS
CNBC reports that French luxury goods group LVMH posted a 3 per cent rise in like-for-like first-quarter sales on Monday, helped by the weak euro against the dollar and what it called an "excellent start to the year" at Louis Vuitton. Wines and spirits sales fell 1 per cent on a comparable basis in the first quarter, LVMH said in a statement. Still, this was better than the 3-4 per cent decline expected by analysts. The group's fashion and leather unit, the bulk of which is made up of Louis Vuitton sales, saw revenue rise only 1 per cent like-for-like, significantly below the 9 per cent rise in the year-ago period and 4 per cent increase in the fourth quarter.

Luxury Travel, Culture & Leisure

TRAVEL COMPANIES MUST FOCUS ON LIFESTYLE TO SURVIVE

The Independent reports that the days of travel brands surviving only as service providers is over. Clean sheets and safe flights are considered standard, especially among so-called “millennials”, customers who seek deeper connections to brands’ values and the lifestyles they represent. No sector is better placed for this than travel. Brands now wield creative content and seductive images to sell a lifestyle, and therefore drive customer engagement, loyalty and sales far outside the traditional travel cycle. 

TREASURED POSSESSIONS AT THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM
The Telegraph reports that there are few major works of art in the Treasured Possessions exhibition at the University of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum, but an awful lot of nice things. The show is about how and why we desire, acquire, use, and display possessions we don’t really need. Focusing on a period from 1500 to 1800, it asks how luxury goods were made, marketed and sold – and looks, too, at the meanings owners attached to them once they brought them home.