Why do rich people have to queue to buy branded goods?


Brand name store robbery in the United States may be the reason why sales units have to strictly control the number of visitors.

During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, most luxury brands asked people to “shop by appointment”, in order to social distance. But when the epidemic restrictions were completely lifted, many stores still imposed the above policy.

Big brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Cartier do not explain why customers have to wait in long lines at the door and have to answer questions from staff before entering the shop.

“We recommend that buyers book an appointment in advance to avoid waiting,” Cartier wrote on the website, without elaborating.

Some luxury stores ask customers questions before entering the store. Image:
Jeffrey Greenberg/UCG/Universal

According to experts, robberies from boutiques across the US, including in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco and Seattle, may be to blame.

Last year, the problem got so bad that the city of Beverly Hills hired two private security companies to patrol the Rodeo Driver luxury fashion and entertainment district.

In February, the Louis Vuitton store at Westchester Mall, New York was attacked by robbers. Since then, this place has only opened slightly with the notice “customers have to wait in line to shop”. At the queuing place, four guards can check anyone, before entering the inner circle and being led by staff to select products.

But Steve Dennis, a retail consultant in Dallas, thinks that’s not the case. This is essentially a branding tactic. They make it difficult for buyers because they want to “create a feeling of exclusivity”. “Most of these stores are not crowded. Long queues can be found in Texas, where people don’t care about Covid-19,” he added.

Gucci is one of those luxury brands that requires customers to wait in line before entering a store.  Photo:Bloomberg

Gucci is one of those luxury brands that requires customers to wait in line before entering a store. Image:
Bloomberg

Last week, Chanel’s chief executive caused a stir when he revealed plans to open exclusive stores in Asia, for VIP customers. The company is hiring 3,500 new employees for the initiative.

CFO Philippe Blondiaux of Chanel, told the newspaper Business of Fashion: “Our biggest concern is protecting our customers, especially patrons. We will invest in security with the desire to serve in a unique way”.

“But in the end, what does Chanel want to protect customers from?” asked fashion blog Highsnobiety.

Luxury retail consultant Melanie Holland speculates that Chanel may have wanted to prevent wealthy customers from becoming targets for robbers. Although those who spend heavily are less likely to walk on the street.

Previously, stores on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan such as Chanel, Prada and Carolina Herrera also turned off their lights, closed their doors and opened only by appointment to prevent riots or looting.

“Following these incidents, retailers have a right to be suspicious of the people who walk into the store,” said Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute, Fordham Law School, and highlighted the dates. Free admission has ended.

Minh Phuong (According to NyPost)

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