Luxury Brand Hermès Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Birkin Bag Sales Tactics

Birkin Bag Sales Tactics: Luxury Brand Hermès Faces Class Action Lawsuit | Enterprise Wired

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Source- The Impression

Allegations of Discriminatory Sales Practices

Luxury fashion house Hermès finds itself embroiled in controversy as it faces a class-action lawsuit in California over alleged discriminatory sales practices tied to its iconic Birkin handbags. Two plaintiffs claim they were coerced into buying additional Hermès products before being granted the opportunity to purchase a Birkin bag.

Exclusive Purchase Requirements

According to the lawsuit filed on March 19th, the plaintiffs assert that Hermès sales associates selectively offer Birkin handbags only to customers with a significant purchase history with the brand. These customers are purportedly led to private rooms within the store, away from public view, to view the coveted Birkin bags.

Secretive Display and Limited Availability

The lawsuit alleges that Birkin handbags are seldom displayed openly in Hermès retail stores and are often limited in availability, with only a few bags accessible at any given time. Customers, it claims, are rarely given the chance to view or purchase Birkin bags directly from the sales floor.

Antitrust Allegations and Market Manipulation

Accusations against Hermès include violations of US antitrust laws and market exploitation tactics to inflate the price of Birkin bags. The lawsuit suggests that Hermès employs a commission structure for its sales associates that incentivizes the sale of ancillary products over Birkin bags, thereby coercing customers into additional purchases to qualify for the coveted handbag.

Plaintiffs Seek Redress

Plaintiffs Tina Cavalleri and Mark Glinoga contend that they were compelled to spend exorbitant sums at Hermès to gain access to Birkin bags, with Cavalleri claiming she was explicitly told the bag was reserved for loyal customers. Glinoga, despite multiple attempts, alleges he was repeatedly denied access to Birkin bags unless he purchased additional items.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages and a court injunction to halt Hermès’ alleged anticompetitive practices. The lawsuit underscores growing scrutiny over the exclusivity and sales tactics employed by luxury brands, particularly concerning their most coveted products.

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