Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Confusion at Chanel

Early last week we wrote about Chanel raising their prices 30% this coming month. Due to the world's financial whirlwind and retail downtrend the company apparently decided not to be so hasty. Many Chanel experts explain the Walmart-type rollback to the weakening Euro, which is down about 20% since highs in July.

This about face has caused mass confusion among Chanel fans. And the trouble is that shoppers are not the only ones confused. Even sales experts can't agree about what the double C icon is doing with their pricing. 

For the sake of shallow journalism I thought I would do some calling around town and use the Chanel Classic Jumbo Flap in caviar as our litmus test. The following is what expert shoppers and Chanel handbag sales associates had to say about the situation.




Mad-Spy fan and Chanel customer:
Med/Large Caviar: $2,350 --> $2,495 (up 3%)
Med/large Lambskin: $2,495 --> $2,695 (up 8%)
Jumbo caviar: $2,650 --> $2,675 (up 1%)
Jumbo lambskin: $2,850 --> $2,875 (up 1%)
Reissues:
225: will go up 11%
226: will go up 4%
227: will go up 9% ($2,850 --> $3,095)


Madison Avenue Chanel
Betsy 212-535-5505
Chanel Classic Jumbo Flap Caviar is $2650 and will be $3000. The increase was going to be 30% and then they lowered it. You should, of course, come in and buy it now. (We say: But of course!) 
The 2.55 is going up $100 to $3095 from $2850.
Math is not Betsy's strong suit but she can get you the purple out-of-stock color if you like.

Soho Chanel
Erma Store Director 212-334-0055
The Jumbo Caviar is not going up in price and the medium is going up like $100. We are told that the 2.55s will be going up in price as they receive them for next season. However, the cruise collection of bags is actually going down because of the strengthening dollar.

N15 @ 57th St. Chanel
Ermam 212-355-5050
The Jumbo Caviar is $2650 and Nov 1 it’s still going to be the same price. The 2.55s are going up a bit more around $100 to $200.
Ermam rattles off the same story as our Soho Chanel store managers, "There was going to be a bigger increase but with the strength of the dollar they decided not to move forward."

Saks
Elmira 212-940-4347
"They [Chanel] said that it [the increase] will be about 20% in November." Saks doesn't have the new price sheet for the cruise collection but the Jumbo Classic Flap in patent leather will be $3000. The 2.55 that is $2695 will be $2995.

Bergdorf Goodman
Barbara 212- 872-2858
"The Jumbo is not going up in price and is staying at $2650." The medium lambskin and caviar are going up a bit. The 2.55, which $2695 is going to be $150 more.

Bloomingdales
212-705-2856
Call and put on hold for over 5 minutes.
Call again and put on hold for 5 more minutes.
Call again. No answer.
Call again. No answer.
Call again. No answer.
Call again. No answer.
Nobody ever shopped in Bloomingdales for their great customer service.

Photo Credit: China Doll Stuff The picture was too cute to resist.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

If reality really is funnier than fiction that might explain why I almost fell off my chair laughing about Bloomingdales! The truth is sad... and so is the service at Bloomingdales.

Anonymous said...

Here is something interesting:

I called the duty-free Chanel boutique at Heathrow airport in London, the M/L classic flap in caviar is selling for £1175 which is approx. $1870 with the current exchange rate.

The price at Saks is $2547 (after taxes), that is a price difference of over $650 (which covers your round trip tickets from NYC to London).

Anonymous said...

I am glad that I wasn't the only one that was confused. First I heard they were raising prices 20%, then 30% which sounded ridiculous since this isn't the time to be raising the price of anything unless they wanted to clean house and people to buy whatever they already had in the stores.