The brand is mastering on high quality and innovative leather products export from France to keep the “savoir-faire à la française”. The brand create its own reputation globally by building a strong brand image emphasized by luxury, high class image, elegance and prestige through always the same well known monogram.
Its entry in the Japanese market in the 1970’s helped to strengthen its international expansion. They were pioneer in this market by adopting a unique strategy of selling. They first sell their products through a department store. They use a unique way of selling by using shop-in-shop. Being their own distributors was a successful strategy because they are totally independent. They open their two own physical shops (retail shop) in 1981. It helps to have a tight control and to minimize the number of franchises. The shops are focused on customers experience more than everything. Shops are considered as the showcase to represent the exclusive brand image. All are totally extravagant with a special design and architecture. The brand wants to create emotions when consumers enter the shop. All the products are export from France to guarantee the high quality. Everything has been very fast and today the brand has considerable number of 54 shops.
Louis Vuitton saw a real opportunity in this market. Their business model perfectly meets the local needs and wants. Luxury goods in the Japan can be consider as a mass market. The population has a real luxury culture. Consumers are really demanding this type of products. The product exclusivity is attractive for Japanese consumers. Having luxury product demonstrates a high social status and characterize the western culture. Japanese are also considered as trend setter. The luxury sectors including Louis Vuitton use this country to experiment new products.
The market is also categorised by high purchasing power and high spending power on luxury goods per capita. Shopping of luxury products is more compulsory than everywhere else in the world. For example, woman prefer to live in a small apartment to be able to buy a bag. Those arguments make this market profitable. Those characteristics gave to Louis Vuitton an occasion to jump into the market.
To increase the visibility of the brand, the company establish a high volume of shop in a short period of time. The concentration of shop compared to the size of the country is incredible. Those shops create a “Vuittonmania”. Each shop was unique with a special design and architecture. A shopping experience was create around those extravagant shops to make people feel special. At the same time, they also adopt an aggressive marketing strategy.
At the beginning, the products sold in the Japan were based on Western style inspired by the famous designer Marc Jacob. The company was focusing on tourism market and selling mostly in duty free sector of international airport. It was representing the French high class design and culture. However, due event (9/11), and new attitudes (mature way of buying luxury product) the brand had faced sales decline. LV had to make some changes in their strategy and move forward Western design to a more traditional style. They have the chance to develop even more their business by adapting their products to local need and cooperating with local designer and artist to create products, especially in the ready to wear segment, that have a good combination of tradition and fashion. Those designers have a better knowledge of the Japanese and know exactly how to satisfy consumers. By going local, it satisfy the Japanese consumer’s desire. They go even further by launching several limited editions. They are so successful that the company decides to expand them to the global market.
The Japanese market is characterised by vast number opportunities for the