Hermes has been sued thanks to ‘Bagwati’

Mar23,2024


In the hit Hindi movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,’ Bagwati‘ refers to a luxurious Hermès Birkin bag, which serves as a symbol of Kabir Dewan’s (Abhay Deol’s character) attachment to material possessions and his journey towards self-realisation of the importance of experiences over material wealth. But now, this very bag has led to luxury fashion house Hermes facing legal action in California over apparent allegations of discriminatory sales practices regarding its coveted bag.

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Two California residents have filed a proposed federal class-action lawsuit in San Francisco, accusing Hermes of violating antitrust laws by limiting access to Birkin handbags only to customers with “sufficient purchase history” with the company.
The lawsuit alleges that Hermes engages in unlawful tying arrangements, wherein the sale of Birkin handbags is linked to the purchase of other Hermes products. Sales associates reportedly pressure customers to buy additional items such as shoes, scarves, and jewelry in order to be granted the opportunity to purchase a Birkin bag.
Notably, Birkin handbags are renowned as a symbol of status and luxury within the fashion world. However, consumers cannot acquire them online from Hermes, nor are they openly displayed for sale in the company’s retail stores. Instead, only select customers deemed worthy are shown Birkin handbags in private rooms.

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Furthermore, the lawsuit asserts that Hermes sales associates do not receive commissions on Birkin bag sales but are instructed to utilize the handbags as leverage to compel consumers into purchasing other Hermes products.
The plaintiffs are seeking class action status on behalf of thousands of U.S. consumers who have either purchased Hermes goods or have been pressured to buy them to gain access to Birkin handbags. With about 43 stores nationwide, including eight in California, Hermes faces allegations of engaging in anticompetitive practices.

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The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a court injunction to halt Hermes’ alleged discriminatory sales tactics. As of now, neither Hermes nor their attorneys have responded to requests for comment regarding the legal proceedings.



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