Are You Losing Your Quota Bag to a New Hermès Store?

Whether you consider it newsworthy (or not), Hermès’ recent announcement of plans to open another U.S. boutique left us, well, concerned- or maybe worried that it will be even more difficult to obtain items from the hallmark orange heritage house. After all, so many of our favorite products already are hard to get, whether quota or non quota handbags, home furnishings, belts, shoes (just try to get those chypres!), and so on.

Image Credit: @m.t.l1968

Not that long ago, American fans of Hermès were relegated to shopping abroad or primarily in the New York City area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and South Florida. In fact, Hermès’ first freestanding American store was in Beverly Hills, CA, and opened around 1972. Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida (not Miami) opened in 1975, even before the New York City flagship. Completing the millennia trifecta was Las Vegas’ Hermès opening at the famed Bellagio in 1995. In fact, not until 2010 did Chicago, Pursebop’s hometown, have its own Hermès boutique.

Hermès’ next new home at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall (Image Credit: WWD)

Over the last decade plus, though, Hermès has been on a tear- opening stores across the United States. As we’ve written before, the expansion extends to American suburbs and smaller cities, like Princeton, New Jersey,  Austin, Texas,  Aventura and Orlando, Florida, just to name a few. Scottsdale, Arizona apparently is next, albeit in 2024.

So what does this all mean? Surely it indicates the growing popularity of Hermès and its confidence in the U.S. customer around the country. No longer available only through travel, shoppers can get their orange bags locally. Except…

Hermès Las Vegas

What if the orange bags are empty? Not by choice, as demand is clearly strong, but by barren shelves in stores. Right now, that’s still the case for so many Hermès boutiques in the United States. Opening more stores would not appear to solve the problem, but rather exacerbate it. The goods shipped to the United States now will be allocated around the country to more boutiques, effectively lessening the amount in each individual boutique.

Unless, of course, Hermès increases its production. Which, to be fair, has been a goal of the brand as it establishes additional production facilities in France. For example, between 2010 and 2019, Hermès brought on line about nine new leather goods workshops, with more to come. However, despite this, the supply (and availability) of its quota and non quota handbags seemingly has declined rather than increased. To be fair, there’s been a global pandemic with health restrictions and supply chain issues, which certainly has affected the situation. Nevertheless, availability of product remains limited.

Hermès Chief Axel Dumas (Image Credit: Charlotte Gonzalez for the Wall)

Moreover, with volume growth in leather goods production capped at 6-7% annually, one wonders where the goods to satisfy demand can come from. As quoted in Reuters in February 2022, CEO Axel Dumas has no intention of accelerating production:

It takes 15 hours for an Hermès bag. Even if there’s a lot of demand, I’m not going to start doing them in 13 hours to raise production… contrary to what people may think, we’re always very sad when we have to say to our customers, ‘No’, because we don’t have that.

This raises the question of what happens when your demand increases multiple fold as is likely to happen with the opening of additional stores. More disappointed shoppers? Or, selfishly, will we be unable to get what we want… even more than before?

Let us know what you think.

Love PurseBop

Read Related Articles:

Hermès Opens Another Leather Production Facility in France

Hermès Is Opening Another Leather Good Production Facility

Hermès Moves Closer to a Global Quota System

Published: August 29th, 2022
Updated: August 30th, 2022

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2 Responses to “Are You Losing Your Quota Bag to a New Hermès Store?”

  • Im not really sure what the reasoning is to have such limited quantities. It creates unhappiness amongst longtime customers. I understand wanting to keep the brand to ‘elite status’ and perhaps a bit of limiting supply does that, but it also creates disappointment and hardships. I have been buying the brand for over 20 years, and while years ago there were some limitations, one could just fly to Paris and purchase one on the spot. I did, many times, but also have purchased many here through my SA which I have known forever. Having said that, the past two years has been horrible. i understand we went through the pandemic and all that, but Hermes craftsmen continued to work. In two years, I have only been able to purchase one Constance! And I wait and wait and wait. It is really getting ridiculous. I am so frustrated with this system is not even funny!

  • Actually, Chicago has had and Hermes boutique since 1990. In 2010, they moved to the current location that was the former Barney’s space.