INTERVIEW-Hermes CEO sees higher taxes hitting luxury
* Hermes CEO sees "gloomy" 2011, 2012
* Says governments will raise taxes on wealthy
* Hermes opens first ever men's store, in New York
* CEO says sales strong in Canada and Latin America
By Phil Wahba
NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Governments worldwide will have little choice but to raise taxes on the rich to address ballooning deficits, a development that would harm luxury spending in the coming years, French luxury chain Hermes International SCA's (HRMS.PA) chief executive, Patrick Thomas, said.
"Our industry is really going to suffer because the governments will have to pay for the deficits, so they are going to raise taxes, and if they raise taxes, it will be on people who are wealthy," Thomas told Reuters on the sidelines of the opening of Hermes' first ever men's store, in Manhattan on Tuesday.
Paris-based Hermes, which operates about 300 stores worldwide, reported stronger-than-expected Christmas sales last week. [nLDE6132UA] Thomas suggested Hermes and the luxury industry overall had dodged a bullet in 2009, and said that 2011 and 2012 looked "very gloomy," though he said growing sales in Latin America and Canada, and a still untapped U.S. market, could help mitigate a global slowdown for Hermes.
Hermes USA CEO Robert Chavez said the new store, the chain's first in the world to cater solely to men, is its 24th U.S. outlet. He said he could envision opening another six locations within 10 years, including in the U.S. Southwest region.
The new four-level store in a red stone townhouse on Manhattan's chic Upper East Side has about twice the selling space as the men's areas at the Hermes flagship store across the street on Madison Ave. Items for sale include an $8,800 leather jacket and a $900 cashmere sweater.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Richard Chang)
((email@example.com; +1 646 223 6128; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)) Keywords: HERMES/ Keywords: HERMES/
(C) Reuters 2010. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution ofReuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expresslyprohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuterssphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group ofcompanies around the world.nN09227652INTERVIEW/
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this