• 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS
2017-06-09 15:49
By Park Jae-hyuk



Korean reporters inevitably played hide-and-seek with LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, during his two-day stay here.

The chairman came to Korea, Wednesday, to check the “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez ― Louis Vuitton” exhibition, which opened Thursday and will run through Aug. 27 at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul. Louis Vuitton is an LVMH brand, along with Dior, Fendi and other popular luxury brands.

Amid Louis Vuitton’s declining popularity in Korea over the past few years and recent dwindling sales at local duty free stores, Arnault’s visit drew special attention from the public who expected his insights and vision to grapple with the challenges.

The richest man in France, however, avoided reporters, refusing to deliver any message to Korean consumers.

From beginning to end, his schedule in Korea remained secret.

The global luxury house’s Korean branch behaved improperly, shifting all of its responsibilities to its PR agency. The local affiliate has long been criticized for evading reporters’ questions and for hiding its PR department’s telephone numbers, even before the chairman’s visit.

When the billionaire showed up at the DDP early Wednesday afternoon, local news outlets therefore called it a “surprise visit.” He was initially expected to appear at that evening’s VIP banquet hosted by LVMH at the Shilla Seoul, which was not open to the press.

Due to the strict security, however, his schedule at the DDP was also a de facto closed-door event.

Journalists at the venue were unable to ask the chairman any questions and they even had difficulty in photographing the public figure.

Although Louis Vuitton’s PR agency told reporters that Arnault would leave via a specific exit where reporters were waiting, he left the venue through another one.

Then, the businessman reportedly looked around LVMH brand shops at Lotte Department Store’s main branch and Shinsegae Department Store’s Gangnam branch for about three hours. Of course, his visits to the local department stores were not open to public. The list of VIPs who attended the banquet is confidential as well.

Domestic consumers criticized that the chairman’s attitude demonstrated that the luxury house looks down on Korean society.

Louis Vuitton has been under fire in Korea for years for its disappointing social contributions, after-sales service and pricing policies. So, many consumers expected an apology or a promise to change policies.

But the global brand disappointed Korean consumers again.

Fortunately, there is also good news for local consumers. Retail giants gave the chairman a bit of a “cold” welcome compared to his previous visits, according to industry sources.

Korean retailers have recently displayed less interest in duty free stores because of their low profitability.

Bidding for fashion accessories zones for new duty free stores in the second passenger terminal at Incheon International Airport has failed five times. Hotel Shilla has declined to take control of the “unprofitable” Dongwha Duty Free in downtown Seoul.

Because Korean consumers remain reluctant to buy the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton has seen its sales growth rate fall at major department stores here for years as well.

If he wants to see Louis Vuitton recovering its glory in Korea, the 68-year-old Frenchman may have to keep an English proverb in his mind from now on ― Manners maketh the man.

  • 폰트크기작게
  • 폰트크기크게
  • TTS
  • 단어장
  • 기사스크립
  • SNS