As if it’s not tough enough to get your hands on the handbags and merchandise you desire, now comes word that LVMH faces staffing shortages. The fashion conglomerate – home to Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Loewe and so many more – reports that it anticipates a record deficit of 22,000 workers by the end of 2025.
Around two-thirds (or just under 15,000) of the expected empty positions will be as salespeople in boutiques and employees at LVMH-branded hotels. So absent a solution, just imagine the effect on the service experience at luxury boutiques. For those who already complain luxury isn’t what it used to be, point to the difficulty of getting sales assistance, and so on, it can only get worse.
As if staffing issues aren’t enough, LVMH also sees a brewing shortage in craftspeople. Heritage brands typically highlight the skilled artisanship in their products, even if not fully handmade. Not enough trained artisans suggests either a shift to more industrial production or fewer products.
For now, LVMH is training 700 new apprentices this year, an increase from the 180 in 2018, with plans to grow the number further. In the United States, there is an effort to train more jewelry creators for LVMH’s hallmark Tiffany brand. LVMH has joined forces with RISD, FIT, and Studio Jewelers (a trade school) to provide technical and theoretical training.
It is interesting to note that in the United States, artisan apprenticeships in jewelry and fashion are not as common as in Europe. As we’ve written before, for example, Hermès is known for, in recent years, continually increasing the number of production facilities and creating apprenticeships and schools to train craftspeople.
Are you concerned that shortages in staff and craftspeople will affect your luxury shopping? Let us know what you think.