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Hermès and the luxury market - statistics & facts

Since Thierry Hermès opened the first Hermès factory in 1837, specializing in leather saddles and harnesses for horses, the family business has substantially expanded its product line. The brand is now prized for its ready-to-wear collections, perfumes, and handbags, and the Parisian saddler seems to have become the quintessence of French luxury.

In 2020, the company, headquartered in Paris, generated sales of approximately 6.4 billion euros, maintaining, despite a slight decline compared to the previous year, its steady increase in sales. Half of Hermès' revenue was generated by leather goods and saddlery products. In fact, Jean-Louis Dumas, head of the company until 2006, once said: "Our first customer is the horse ; the second, the rider". In 2020, nearly half of the group's sales were generated in the Asia-Pacific region. This region represents Hermès' most important market, and the brand even created Shang Xia in 2010, specifically designed for the Chinese market. In 2020, Hermès employed more than 15,400 people worldwide, a number that has steadily increased since 2002, and owned outlets around the globe, with almost 40 stores in Japan and about 35 in the United States.

Hermès was the third most valuable luxury brand in the world in 2020, surpassed only by Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The LVMH group, of which Louis Vuitton is the most profitable brand, acquired about 17 percent of Hermès' capital in 2010, promising to respect the company's family management. Nevertheless, after several confrontations between the two market leaders, LVMH decided to end its financial stake in 2014. Today, Hermès is mostly owned by three families, heirs to founder Thierry Hermès, with Axel Dumas acting as managing director. In 2020, the company's cash flow amounted to approximately two million euros. Its worldwide investments reached a value of nearly 448 million euros, which represents a slight decrease compared to 2019.

Hermes' most popular products are primarily luxury travel bags like the Birkin and Kelly models, named after the famous actresses Jane Birkin and Grace Kelly. According to Collector Square, which tracks the results of the largest auction houses, buying a crocodile Birkin bag costs about 20 times more than buying a troy ounce of gold (about 31 grams). In addition, Hermès is known for its silk scarves. Although its activities have greatly diversified since the 19th century, the group maintains its connection to its roots in the equestrian world, creating the "Saut Hermès", a jumping competition held at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Hermes is also a profitable company for its investors: in 2017, a record year for the firm, the dividend per share was more than nine euros, and in 2019, its market capitalization reached nearly 70 billion euros. The company therefore continues its rise as one of the most valuable and well-known luxury brands in the world.

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Hermès and the luxury market

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