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HomeBusinessHermès under fire for restricting Birkin sales to select clients.

Hermès under fire for restricting Birkin sales to select clients.

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A recent class action lawsuit in California has accused Hermès of violating antitrust laws by restricting the sale of its popular Birkin handbag to customers with a substantial purchase history of other items. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, alleges that sales associates pressure customers to buy Hermès’s ancillary products in order to have the chance to purchase the exclusive handbag. Customers are reportedly only shown a Birkin handbag if they are deemed worthy based on their previous purchase history, with little opportunity to select a different style that may better suit their preferences.

The lawsuit emphasizes how Hermès capitalizes on the exclusivity and iconic status of the Birkin handbag to drive sales of other merchandise. Sales associates are instructed to only offer the highly coveted handbags to customers who have established a significant purchase history with Hermès. The lawsuit further highlights the experiences of two plaintiffs who claim they were coerced into buying ancillary products in order to gain access to Birkin handbags, with one plaintiff being denied a second Birkin handbag due to a lack of consistent support for the business.

With the lawsuit seeking class-action status to represent potentially thousands of affected customers, it aims to prevent Hermès from continuing these alleged practices and requests monetary damages and restitution to be awarded. The case underscores the contentious issue of exclusivity in the luxury fashion industry and raises questions about the fairness of requiring customers to make additional purchases in order to access highly sought-after items like the Birkin handbag.

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