How luxurious big LVHM constructed a recession-proof empire

The luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, better known as LVMHhas grown into a $500 billion conglomerate with 75 well-respected brands, or “maisons,” rooted in six distinct sectors — with no plans to slow down.

The company posted sales of €79.2 billion, or about $86.3 billion, last year, up 23% from 2021 sales. The number of its branches has more than quintupled over the past two decades, with locations in 81 countries and more than 196,000 employees worldwide.

Its stock hit an all-time high of over $199 per share in April, making the Paris-based company the first European company to surpass $500 billion in market value.

Some experts have long called the company “recession-proof” due to its ability to weather economic downturns and offer products that appreciate in value over time in unique ways.

At the helm of the giant ship is LVMH boss Bernard Arnault, the richest person in the world according to the Forbes real-time billionaire index.

Some say Arnault’s strength lies in identifying companies with longevity. Its most recent acquisition was Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion in 2021.

“When he’s talking about possible acquisitions, he’s not looking for the brand that’s hot at the moment. He is looking for a brand that he believes can last 100 years from now,” said Anish Melwani, LVMH President and CEO for North America.

Through Arnault, LVMH is playing “the long-term game,” said Oliver Chen, managing director of TD Cowen. This keeps the company’s brands in good standing in terms of integrity, visibility and relevance, he said.

Although run by LVMH, each house has creative control over its own brand, with its own leaders and mission.

“That loss of efficiency that other companies would incur by simply lumping together a bunch of brands and having one person run them, which we’re getting is real responsibility,” Melwani said.

This is reflected in LVMH’s ability to consistently deliver products that build on the traditions of its brands and are in tune with current trends and culture. LVMH continuously collaborates with celebrities, fashion icons and influencers to stay relevant to the younger luxury audience.

Melwani said that post-Covid pandemic, the company is focused on expanding its brick-and-mortar stores, which are needed due to the exceptional growth of LVMH’s e-commerce and digital channels.

Staying relevant is key to luxury longevity – and LVMH’s strategy in building a brand that not only lasts, but continues to excel.

Watch this video to learn more.

Comments are closed.