Hermès, one of the most well-knownbrand for its luxurious products was established in 1837 in Paris, France byThierry Hermès and it has passed down to five generations of the family. At thebeginning, Hermès was a harness workshop which provides the needs of Europeannobleman. In 1855, Hermès won the first price for its category and won the sameprice in 1867 at the Expositions Universelles in Paris. Afterward, Thierry’sson, Charles-Emile Hermès took over and relocate the workshop to 24 Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris whichbecome the company’s headquarter until now. With the assistance of his sons -Adolphe and Èmile-Maurice, he continued the business by introducing saddleryand focused on selling retail. By 1900, they produced “Haut À Courroises” Bagwhich was intended for riders to bring their saddlers with them. After the retirement of Charles-Emile Hermès, both of his sonstook over Hermès and changed the company name to Hermès Frères.
In 1918, Hermèsproduced the first leather golf jacket with zipper for Prince of Wales, Edward.In the 20’s Emile Maurice patented zippers used in the golf jacket and becamethe sole head of the business, he also started to introduce accessories andclothing collections of the company. Two years later, he created the first handbagwith zipper and in the next two years Hermès started to establish its presence inthe United State and opened two stores outside of Paris. In the 30’s, Hermèsstarted shipping their products to the United State specifically in NeimanMarcus, New York and they introduced one of the most well-known product ofHermès which is “Sac À Dépêches” (renamed as the “Kelly Bag” after Grace Kelly)in 1935. The first silk scarf was also produced two years after theintroduction of the “Kelly Bag”. In the 50’s, Hermès obtain its Duc-carriage-with-horseLogo and its famous orange boxes. In 1956, “Sac À Dépêches” bag became verypopular because the princess of Monaco then, Grace Kelly was seen carrying thebag for a photograph with Life Magazine to hide her pregnancy. Inthe early 70s, many other businesses entered the market and Hermès started to declineas they were unable to compete due to the use of natural materials while thedemand of artificial materials increased rapidly at that time.
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However, Hermèsfragrance gains back its popularity when the demand for natural materialsincreased and at the same time La Montre Hermès, the watch subsidiary was establishedin Bienne, Switzerland. A few years later specifically in 1978, Jean-LouisDumas took over the business from his father, Robert Duma-Hermès and focused onthe production of silk, leather goods, and ready-to-wear products. A yearlater, Dumas changed Hermès promotion strategy by recruiting a young model toadvertise Hermès scarf which then introduced Hermès to a different set ofconsumers. In 1982, the “Birkin Bag” named after a famous actress and singerJane Birkin was established when she was seen carrying Hermès leather handbag. Overa period of time, Hermès continues to grow and expand its popularity until nowit has around 311 stores worldwide and hired around 12,834 employees based onthe data in 2016.
Many famous celebrities such as Madonna, Nicole Kidman andJulianne Moore are also client of Hermès. Somestrategies that Hermès apply to maintain its reputation include: “Inside TheOrange Box” training which is a three-day training session that are providedfor new employees in order for them to understand more about the history andbackground of Hermès. Second is an event called “Podium” which are held twice ayear to gather 1000 store representatives and each of the representatives wereasked to choose the most unique product to showcase and sell. Third is the”Limited Edition” strategy and they also limit the amount of productdistributed in each store. The strategy used by Hermès is to maintain scarcityand exclusivity of each of their products sold.
Hermès also frequentlycollaborate with famous designers to benefit from each other’s reputation and Hermèsalso claim that each product was handled by only one person from the beginninguntil the end of its process to maintain the quality of the product.