Luxury companies have found themselves in quite a pickle ever since consumers decided to halt discretionary spending. In the case of Chanel, the answer to navigating a choppy economy is simple: Raise prices and bring production to a pace that creates mass demand.
Starting February 1st, Chanel will be raising prices. How much? As usual, it depends on with whom you speak. A sales person from the SoHo Chanel boutique said the increase is just $50 to $100 on classic style bags. A sales person on Madison, however, said that a Classic jumbo caviar leather bag is going to $2995 from $2650. That's closer to a 15% increase. Other experts are quoting a 20% rise.
Let's put the price increase to the sideline for a moment because it's nearly impossible to even get a classic jumbo-sized Chanel bag--and yes, that includes the popular Reissue/2.55. A sales person at Saks Fifth Avenue says they have a waiting list with a few hundred people. The Chanel boutique on 57th Street says their waiting list has between 30 to 35 people listed.
Even second-hand stores have seen a run on Chanel bags. Decades II, located in Los Angeles, has an email list of customers that is quickly growing. The popular West-coast boutique gives customers a 30% discount on Chanel bags that are "new" with tags. The sales person that we spoke to was vague but suggested that the email alert list isn't quickly filling the needs of all who want a bag.
Even on eBay, Chanel jumbos are in high demand. Most successful auctions for new bags closed at about $3000. That's about $350 more than the current retail price.
Does all this lack of demand have you dreaming of snagging a quilted purse of your own? Don't worry, we already did the legwork. Below is pricing information and inventory status of Manhattan stores carrying Chanel. Please note, our contact person is not necessarily the source of the information provided.
Madison Avenue Chanel
Price: The jumbo in caviar will be $2995 from $2650.
Inventory: Nothing. Nothing. Really nothing. We can put your name down. A jumbo size caviar black bag with silver hardware has a waiting list of 6 people.
Erma, Store Director 212-334-0055
Price: I believe the increase is about $50 to $100 on medium classics, large classics and jumbo classics.
Inventory: We don’t have any classics in basic colors in stock at all right now. We have bags in a bright colored silver, turquoise, copper pink and jersey. The list is 30 to 50 people long for each color, style and size.
N15 @ 57th St. Chanel
Price: The price is going up a bit on Feb 1st.
Inventory: We have nothing at the moment. Nothing. No colors no sizes. All the boutiques have been sold out since Christmas and haven’t had a single shipment. The wait list depends on the bag. There is a long wait list for the jumbo size in caviar, about 30 to 35 people long.
Price: We don’t’ know exactly how much the price is going up, probably a few hundred.
Inventory: There are no jumbos in popular colors. Yesterday we found a large black bag with gold hardware, which was $2425. We have a jumbo in beige, brown, and fuchsia color.
Barbara 212- 872-2858
Price: We don’t know exactly how much the price increase will be but expect it to be about $200 to $250, depending on the bag.
Inventory: Right now, we only have a beige bag that’s $3095 going up $500 after Feb 1st. Yes, there is a list. There are seven salespeople here and everyone has a list of four to five people. We usually get two or three bags at a time.
Price: We heard the price is going up about 20%.
Inventory: We don’t have any classic bags and we have a list of people 100 people waiting for a jumbo bag 100 people and about 80 people waiting for the large size. It’s crazy, in the past month we have had only 10 bags come in.