Cosmetic makers apply price cuts

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Cosmetic makers apply price cuts

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Louis Vuitton’s Damier Bandouliere 30 and LVMH’s Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Provided by each company

While some foreign luxury brands are raising prices despite a sharp depreciation in foreign currencies and reduced tariffs, others are cutting prices in an attempt to boost sales.

Louis Vuitton Korea increased prices of its handbags yesterday, whereas company affiliate LVMH reduced prices for its cosmetic brand, Fresh, by up to 20 percent this month.

According to retail industry insiders yesterday, Louis Vuitton Korea increased the prices of some items by 0.8 percent to 6 percent on Wednesday, four months after its last price increase.

“We adjusted prices in all markets of Europe and Asia in line with our global policy. We also reduced the prices of some of our products, so the overall average price increase is zero,” said a Louis Vuitton spokesman.

Critics suspect Louis Vuitton of lowering prices of less popular products, but the company rejected the claim, saying it has cut prices of some of its best-selling Keepall line handbags.

For the Bandouliere bag, the price for the 30-millimeter width rose 5.4 percent, from 1.48 million won ($1,364) to 1.56 million won, while the 35-millimeter width went up 5.2 percent from 1.51 million won to 1.59 million won.

On the other side of the coin, high-end cosmetic brands are cutting prices and tapping drugstores to expand distribution.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser went down 20 percent from 72,000 won to 57,000 won and its Rose Cleansing Foam declined 12.3 percent to 57,000 won.

Other Fresh products, including facial masks, treatments, eye care products, whitening essence and lip balms, were reduced by 12 percent to 20 percent.

The price cuts will apply to all of Asia.

In addition to Fresh, overseas cosmetic brand Stilla lowered prices 120 items by 6.5 percent to 10 percent.

Its best-selling One Step Correct went from 62,000 won to 58,000 won and Convertible Color from 42,000 won to 38,000 won.

Japanese cosmetic brand Shiseido’s sun-care brand Anessa was reduced by 5,000 won on March 1.

U.S. skincare and spa products brand Bliss slashed the price of its Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask from 87,000 won to 72,000 won and Body Butter from 48,000 won to 39,000 won.

“We came up with a prudent decision of price cuts, as we hoped to expand our presence and post further growth in Korea,” said a spokesman for Bliss.

Meanwhile, prices for SK-ll and Chanel products rose.

“We can’t say that all overseas luxury products raise their prices all at the same time. Some cosmetic brands might have decided to cut prices to better compete with local brands and cheaper products at drugstores,” said a spokesman for Louis Vuitton.

“Although Louis Vuitton and Fresh are in the same LVMH Group, our businesses operate separately and independently. Our global price policies are not the same,” said Hwang Da-na of Louis Vuitton Korea.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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