Cover The Chanel 31 Rue Cambon store in Paris, France. (Photo: Getty Images)

The French maison is opening ultra-exclusive boutiques in Asia for its VIP clients

Chanel’s clients are already used to the attentive customer service offered in the fashion brand’s boutiques, but soon they may be treated to an even more luxurious shopping experience.

The French maison reportedly has plans to open private boutiques in Asia to serve its top-spending clients. The stores will open from early 2023. To support the expansion, Chanel is hiring more than 3,500 new employees, many of whom are sales associates.

The announcement comes after Chanel reported its impressive 2021 revenues: the luxury brand saw a 50 per cent year-on-year jump, making USD$15.6 billion (SGD$21.4 billion) in total.

Chanel’s financial success can be partly attributed to its price hikes; it increased the prices of its handbags thrice in 2021, and did so again last March. According to analysts at Jeffries, Chanel bags now cost an average of 71 per cent more than they originally did before the pandemic. 

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The soaring prices hasn’t deterred Chanel customers from shopping, however. The brand’s fashion, watches and jewellery offerings made the largest contributions to its 2021 revenues, even though most of these goods can only be purchased from a physical Chanel store, not online.

With only 250 stores around the world—that’s half of the retail footprint of its competitors like Louis Vuitton—Chanel has to take measures to accommodate its growing customer base. And that’s where its private boutiques come in.

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Speaking to Business of Fashion, Chanel chief financial officer Philippe Blondiaux said: “Our biggest preoccupation is to protect our customers and in particular our pre-existing customers. We’re going to invest in very protected boutiques to service clients in a very exclusive way.”

One can only imagine what kind of special treatment will be offered in these “protected boutiques”—unless, of course, you are already spending tens of thousands at Chanel.

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