7 May 2024

Luxury Hermes - Dumas is calm because Hermès sells to the rich, not the enriched

In the photo, from hermes.com, the illustration created for the brand by Stuart Patience.

Axel Dumas is calm. The CEO of Hermès spoke about the market scenario during the shareholders’ meeting (Paris, 30 April). Three hundred and sixty degrees: from polarization to the importance of size, from the slowdown in the group’s growth to trust in China. Despite the context that is critical for many, he boasts reasons for the certainty of the brand he manages. By La Conceria.

Because Dumas is serene

Dumas also confirmed that the luxury market is experiencing a period of change: “People no longer buy luxury goods based on their income but based on their wealth.” The Hermès CEO has warned that the “real estate crisis” will have a greater impact on spending than the slowdown in economic growth. But he also described the increased polarization of luxury. At the beginning of his mandate (June 2013) only a few percentage points the strongest operators from the weakest. Today the best could post annual gains of 20% and the worst slip by 20%, as WWD reports. Which is a bit like what happened in the first quarter of 2024 between Hermès itself and Gucci, for example.

Dumas is calm because Hermès sells to the rich, not the enriched Dumas is calm because Hermès sells to the rich, not the enriched.

Size matters

Dumas also emphasized the benefits of having a certain size. Which? You can invest a lot in production, distribution and communication. And therefore conquer a greater share of consumers and the market. Hermès’ revenues have almost tripled in the last ten years. The share price increased tenfold, reaching 2,300 euros as of April 30. Some have suggested a division of the share to encourage the entry of new private investors. But Eric de Seynes, chairman of the supervisory board, disagrees and responded that for the moment this possibility is not on the table.

Moderate growth

Dumas, 53 years old, representing the sixth generation of the founding family, also highlighted a certain moderation in growth. In 2023 it was 20.6%, compared to 23.4% in 2022 and 41.8% in 2021. She attributed this decline “to the exhaustion of post-pandemic euphoria”. But commenting on the Asian market, the same manager stated: “I believe that in Asia there is a very strong dynamic, with a growing middle class. I’m quite optimistic about the future growth of our industry.”

About APLF

We bring leather, material and fashion businesses together: an opportunity to meet and greet face to face. We bring them from all parts of the world so that they can find fresh partners, discover new customers or suppliers and keep ahead of industry developments.


We organise a number of trade exhibitions which focus on fashion and lifestyle: sectors that are constantly in flux, so visitors and exhibitors alike need to be constantly aware both of the changes around them and those forecast for coming seasons.


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