Since 2019, Chanel has continually risen its global prices for some of its most classic handbags. Throughout the pandemic, the French luxury brand has steadily increased the prices of its best-selling bags in the U.S. including the small boy bag, classic medium flap bag and the 2.55 large bag. Back in November, HYPEBEAST reported that Chanel had already increased its prices in preparation for Christmas.
Bloomberg reported that a spokeswoman from the company claimed that the price increases are due to “unspecified exchange-rate fluctuations, changes in production costs and to ensure its handbags cost roughly the same around the world.” Other executives in the luxury fashion sector have called this an “aggressive corporate strategy: asserting control over one of the brand’s most popular products while taking aim at higher-end rivals.”
According to the Jefferies Group, Chanel’s small classic flap bag saw a price increase of 60% up to $8,200 USD in the U.S. market. The larger handbag, also known as the 2.55 also jumped to $9,500 USD after the brand’s fourth price increase in two years. Back in June 2021, the bag only cost $7,400 USD meaning that the 2.55 saw an approximate 78% price rise. To put it into perspective, the medium-sized Chanel flap bag costs $8,800 USD which is just approximately €100 EUR less than Hermès’ Birkin. Rebag’s CEO Charles Gorra seems to believe that Chanel is aiming for Hermès’handbag status, holding themselves at the highest tier of luxury fashion. Gorra said that Chanel is striving “to be part of the Hermès world and less of the Vuitton and Gucci world. They are trying to go upscale.”
By hiking up the prices, Chanel is making their brand more exclusive and hopes that the scarcity will create a greater desire for the brand. In the past, Chanel has imposed purchasing limits on top of handbag price increases signaling to consumers and competitors how they view their brand equity in the industry.