Billionaire Bernard Arnault, the world’s second richest human, has reportedly visited the Philippines not once but several times.
A Babbler said Arnault, head of the world’s largest luxury goods company, slipped into the country anonymously to see for himself how crazy Filipinos are about Louis Vuitton handbags.
“Arnault was surprised to learn that Filipinos were among the biggest buyers of LV in its Champs-Elysees store (the biggest in the world) during the pandemic. So he visited the country and he was amazed with what he saw,” Babbler said.
“If Thailand can have six LV stores, why should the Philippines have only two? Arnault probably thinks the Philippines can have three to four more stores,” the Babbler added.
Babbler said among the possible locations for a new LVMH store is Newport World Resorts of ultra bilyonaryo Andrew Tan.
Another Babbler claimed Arnault flew in a “few times” in the country to scout potential locations and meet with potential retail partners.
“He stepped in to the Solaire branch which is one of the biggest sellers in Asia, especially for men’s bags,” Babbler said. The LV Manila Solaire opened in 2017.
LVMH opened its first store in the Philippines in 1993 at 6750 Tower on Ayala Avenue.
It moved the store to Ayala Malls Greenbelt 4 in 2003. The Philippine flagship store moved to the new luxury wing of Greenbelt 3 in October last year.
The swanky store was designed by LVMH in collaboration with Filipino designers and Kienle sisters Stephanie Gonzalez and Jessica Maxwell of the high-end furniture brand Philux.
Aside from LV, the LVMH portfolio includes Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Celine, Sephora, Princess Yachts, TAG Heuer, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co.