Louis Vuitton hiked prices of non-leather bags: HSBC

PARIS (REUTERS) - Louis Vuitton, the world's biggest luxury brand by sales, has put up the prices of its non-leather handbags in most markets since the beginning of the year, broker HSBC said in a note sent to clients.

The broker said the price hikes, based on its own store observations, were meant to address the brand's "ubiquity" problem longer term but they could have a negative impact on volumes in the short term.

LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, declined to comment on the HSBC note.

Canvas items make up about two thirds of Louis Vuitton's total accessories sales and yield gross margins of 90 per cent against 75 per cent for leather bags, according to analysts'estimates.

HSBC spotted price increases of around 10 per cent on most non-leather bags such as the Speedy and the NeverFull in the euro zone, and of 10 per cent or more in the United Kingdom and in the United States.

It also noted price increases of 5-10 per cent on the same goods in several Asian markets including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

LVMH shares, which lost 6.5 per cent since the beginning of the year, closed up 1.3 per cent on Tuesday at 131.3 euros.