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  1. #1
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Chanel question...

    How come Chanel is NEVER found at discounters??
    How can they have such a tight grip on distribution?
    These days even Guerlain can be found at discounters..
    I don't get it.

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    They are obviously doing something different with their business strategy / distribution. You are also never going to find Hermessence at discounters.
    It is what it is ..... what is your point?


    P.S. Actually Chanel can be found at discounters.
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  3. #3
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Well you may be able to find Chanel at discounters but the prices will be more or less the same as they are in department stores. How come?
    It's a question.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    I have never seen Chanel at discounters myself. Chanel does try to control its distribution very tightly. I don't know exactly how they do so. Some of the control may come from the brand itself, as some of the stuff that goes to discounters comes from the brand themselves. Some of the control can also be with the contracts that they write with department stores-which somehow prevent department stores from reselling their old stock (this could also mean that Chanel is willing to get things back from stores). It also helps that Chanel does fewer yearly flankers that need to be taken off the shelf.

    Beyond perfumes, Chanel seems more aggressive in controlling the brand. For instance, I don't think they have any outlet, and I don't think they do sales.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Chanel has sued many, many entities worldwide. Below discusses a bit of what happened with Notino, formerly Beauty Spin, in the USA.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Probably the strict guidelines with regards to being a Licensed Chanel Dealer.

    Though if you ever looking to spend some money on anything Chanel, you'd be a fool to expect you're going to get a "deal."
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Chanel does not want their fragrances to be sold at discounters.

    Here in Germany, they have also prohibited one of the largest online retailers (Flaconi), who is an authorized Chanel partner, from including Chanel fragrances in discount campaigns.

    Chanel attaches great importance to its own image and also wants to ensure that the quality is right when you buy one of the fragrances. This cannot be guaranteed for unauthorized sellers who purchase Chanel fragrances from the grey market.

    Chanel has also sued grey market dealers like Notino in the past for selling unauthorized Chanel fragrances. Currently there is Chanel again available at Notino Germany, which may have something to do with the takeover of the company Muer, which were previously authorized Chanel dealers. I don't know the details.

    There are many fragrance manufacturers who always publicly say that they see a huge problem in grey market trading, but know exactly where the grey market bottles ultimately come from. It's just hypocritical and it's all about the money, in the end. The origin of the bottles can always be traced very easily using batch codes as soon as authorized partners receive different batches.
    Since many authorized sellers are forced to buy larger quantities than they can sell, some of these amounts are moving to the grey market or are simple re-imports from countries with lower cost standards.

    Chanel does not play those games and they care for quality and customer support.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Personally have not seen them at discounters ever.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Some houses only look at the bottom line. "Are we making more money?"

    Chanel seems to be a house that also cares about their reputation as a brand. They strictly control their inventory and distribution because they don't want their brand associated with discount retail. They want to be seen as luxury, even among designers.

    The easiest way to see the difference is to compare Versace, Gucci, and Chanel. Versace doesn't seem to have any identity these days. Whatever other houses are doing, Versace will copy it. I'm surprised they didn't name Dylan Blue "Bleu De Versace." If their stuff ends up at discounters, they don't care so long as they make a buck. Gucci desperately wants to have an distinct brand identity, but they're willing to scrap their entire history every few years when some new knucklehead at corporate has an idea. "Discontinue everything, sir? Start from scratch and flood the market with junk that will soon sell at discounters? Genius!" And then there's Chanel. Chanel tends to go slow and steady from era to era, and they keep their stuff out of discounters because they don't want that reputation. It's a bummer for guys like me that would love to get some Les Exclusifs at better prices, but I definitely understand the reasons behind it.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Chanel are aggressive, their brand image means a lot. I think old stock or some such goes back to them and/or gets destroyed (supposed to). They have tight control.

    There is grey market Chanel, but also a ton of fake Chanel out there.


    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    They are obviously doing something different with their business strategy / distribution. You are also never going to find Hermessence at discounters.
    It is what it is ..... what is your point?


    P.S. Actually Chanel can be found at discounters.
    I've been seeing testers of the Hermes line online lately! And pretty good prices too, like $150-190ish for Ambre Narguile, and ~$120-150 for Epice Marine.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    They have tight control because they are heavily faked and they also want to have control over who sells their products and ensure they are not sold below retail cost. There was issues with Notino USA a few years ago which caused Notino USA to shutdown. Chanel requires discounters to sell at a up charge from retail, at this point you mind as well buy direct from Chanel. I respect their respect for their image and name I have no problems buying direct or at a authorized dealer to ensure everything is authentic.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by speckmann0706 View Post
    They have right control because they are heavily faked and they also want to have control over who sells their products. I respect their respect for their image and name I have no problems buying direct or at a authorized dealer to ensure everything is authentic.
    Honestly any other fragrance manufacturer could do it exactly like Chanel.
    Most of them don't because they sell even more when accepting the grey market sellers.
    Chanel can simply afford to stop supplying authorized partners who sell parts of the goods in the grey market. And their partners won't risk that because it's also prestige to be an authorized Chanel seller.

    There are many ways to deal with grey market offers.
    Some manufacturers just don't care where you've bought your bottle and always give good customer support.

    Others won't answer any question about their own product if you say you've bought your bottle from a non-authorized seller (eg. Parfums de Marly).

    And then there are those really ridiculous strategies like never answering any questions and just tell the customers every bottle that you bought anywhere else than in one of their own stores is a fake (eg. Amouage).


    I also respect Chanel for being honest and taking care about their products.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by ILikePeeps View Post
    I've been seeing testers of the Hermes line online lately! And pretty good prices too, like $150-190ish for Ambre Narguile, and ~$120-150 for Epice Marine.
    Where? Just curious. The stuff on eBay from Russia is mostly all fake.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Foamywax View Post
    Well you may be able to find Chanel at discounters but the prices will be more or less the same as they are in department stores. How come?
    It's a question.
    Just adifference in the business model: selling a lot with low margins vs selling less with higher margins. Usually the first makes more moeny at the end, assuming that there is a market large enough for that.

    In order to cure their 'luxury image', they made themselves available only through the channel they choose. Even in large distribution, when a dept store does sales, Chanel is often excluded from that sale. It's basically a way to communicate: Chanel is expensive, because it smells expensive, even if it's not accurate, just marketing.

    Dior is available at discounters, but in that case also it is hard to get more than 20% off compared to full retail.

    If Guerlain can be found at discounters and ebay for 3-4X less than the full retail prices, it's because Guerlain decided to change strategy: they keep curing their 'classical french perfume house" image, pricing their fragrances at full price on their websites, stores, and dept stores, but it's actually only a smoke screen: indeed, these prices are only shown to make the customers believe that 'it's expensive', they use bricks n' mortar stores and their website as showrooms, but they don't expect a large flow of income coming from there.

    i.e, Guerlain Vetiver msrp is $95, but they know now people buy mostly online, where large quantities can be found for $30/40. This means that the $95 price is just for the show, for the image, but the real value is $30, and Guerlain perfectly knows that.... no 'grey market', just regular market that Guerlain 'pretends' not to see because of image (if we know, they know). The war to the non-official retailers is a war of the past century, and lost in advance in the 21st century with internet, and that also they know it... so instead of fighting it, they use it.

    Basically Guerlain has decided to sell to the large mass market, making lower margins without compromising in quality, while keeping their luxury image.
    They do so to keep up with the younger crowds, to compensate for their 'old school' image - very appealing to more mature crowds. Lower prices allow also for more easy blind buys.... they understood that perfectly! (or should I say: the LVMH team understood it...). It also ensure that all the margins go to them, and protect them from counterfeiting (counterfeiters target best sellers that goes at least for $60/80 at legit sellers online... below that, their margins would be too low, hence why Chanel and Dior are great targets, while I have never heard of a fake Guerlain).

    As opposed to Chanel, who decided to sell less, but make higher margins on each products sold.

    The big force of Guerlain, is that they managed to make such a business model without saving on quality raw materials costs (or very little compared to ther brands).

    That is how I read it, based on the little marketing fundamentals I learnt, but I have no real world data.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by speckmann0706 View Post
    I respect their respect for their image and name I have no problems buying direct or at a authorized dealer to ensure everything is authentic.
    That is exactly the reason why Chanel does this strategy: it's all about image, nothing more.

    But as I said in my previous post: Guerlain does it better! They sell their fragrances for cheap all over internet, and thus way more in terms of quantity, while still keeping their 'classic luxury image' with their designs, history and by pretending that 'they don't know that their frags are sold at discounters'.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy the frenchy View Post
    i.e, Guerlain Vetiver msrp is $95, but they know now people buy mostly online, where large quantities can be found for $30/40. This means that the $95 price is just for the show, for the image, but the real value is $30, and Guerlain perfectly knows that.... no 'grey market', just regular market that Guerlain 'pretends' not to see because of image (if we know, they know). The war to the non-official retailers is a war of the past century, and lost in advance in the 21st century with internet, and that also they know it... so instead of fighting it, they use it.
    I'm very sure that also in the US those $30/40 per 100 ml of Guerlain Vetiver are indeed grey market prices.

    I've just checked it here in Germany:

    Lowest price you find for 100 ml of Guerlain Vetiver is 35,19 Euro - from a greymarket seller of course (Parfum-Zentrum).
    Then there are a whole lot of other greymarket sellers with good prices (but some of the worst shops, where you can buy a fragrance if you ask me...).
    Lowest price you find from an authorized Guerlain seller is 80,95 Euro (Flaconi and Parfumdreams), then 94 Euro at Douglas.

    I also don't think that Guerlain sells anywhere near the amount of a fragrance like Vetiver as Chanel does with the BdC line.
    Chanel is just a big name and probably much more well known and popular than Guerlain among normal people, who are no fragrance enthusiasts.
    Maybe it's even THE most popular brand which is known for making perfumes.
    That's why they can do it and avoid the sale at discounters.

    Guerlain could do that too but it would hurt them massively and they would have a big loss of profit.
    That's why they let their partners flood the greymarket - I'll find much much more Guerlain fragrances at greymarket discounters than Dior, Givenchy or Hermes. At least here in Germany.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Where? Just curious. The stuff on eBay from Russia is mostly all fake.
    Not from Russia. Just search on eBay for an Hermessence frag and find a tester.

    For example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hermes-Epic...UAAOSwqlZf2nAX Seller has over 43400 feedback.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hermes-Epic...QAAOSwLGxfPzkX Over 5800 feedback.

    And the seller 'newport_luxury' seems to be a big one for Hermessence.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    As others have said, it is about maintaining brand image and I appreciate that. Why it doesn't happen with other brands is probably it is expensive to keep such tight control over product and distribution and you can probably sell more if you push a product out there and don't really care where it ends up being sold.

    I appreciate Chanel for this, and it is also the only brand I go and buy in the boutique because I know I'll be paying the same price no matter what so might as well get the in person experience. With other brands I mostly order from Europe because it is so much cheaper. For example, I love Frederic Malle and had a great boutique experience with my first couple purchases there. But ever since I realized I can save something like $80-100 by ordering from Europe, I no longer buy in boutique which is kinda sad.

    The more puzzling question to me is how do fragrances, sometimes good quality fragrances, end up being $40. Like, how in the world is Guerlain vetiver just $30?? Also, how does Sephora or Macy's sell full price bottles of anything when so many of them are available at a fraction of the price on discounters?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapimitation View Post
    As others have said, it is about maintaining brand image and I appreciate that. Why it doesn't happen with other brands is probably it is expensive to keep such tight control over product and distribution and you can probably sell more if you push a product out there and don't really care where it ends up being sold.

    I appreciate Chanel for this, and it is also the only brand I go and buy in the boutique because I know I'll be paying the same price no matter what so might as well get the in person experience. With other brands I mostly order from Europe because it is so much cheaper. For example, I love Frederic Malle and had a great boutique experience with my first couple purchases there. But ever since I realized I can save something like $80-100 by ordering from Europe, I no longer buy in boutique which is kinda of sad.

    The more puzzling question to me is how do fragrances, sometimes good quality fragrances, end up being $40. Like, how in the world is Guerlain vetiver just $30?? Also, how does Sephora or Macy's sell full price bottles of anything when so many of them are available at a fraction of the price on discounters?
    What you said about Malle is why I refuse to buy fragrances for retail, unless there was absolutely no other way of getting it. I don't care about the reasoning why -- if you pay 1/2-1/3 less, because of where you live, then it's not worth the retail, and I won't buy it. Annoying that websites such as Selfridges & Harrods still gets their big cut by charging $30-40 in shipping.


    As to the Sephora question a large amount of people the majority really of people don't know about discount sites, or don't trust them. Why do people still use Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, etc after knowing how much they abuse the data they collect about you? Because people are apathetic towards these issues. If I don't know anything about fragrances, then I'm buying the one or two I wear from Nordstroms or Sephora, because I don't care to know I could get it for less.

  20. #20
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Thanks for all the replies!
    It's a well known fact that Chanel indeed has very tight grips on distribution. That is why I asked how a company like Guerlain can be found on the grey market. My new bottle of Guerlain homme cost 40 euros it's the big bottle and a new batch. That price difference compared to retail is huge. I'm not complaining but for a company like Guerlain it does seem odd. There is a chain of perfume stores here that carry chanel. They had too many bottles of egoiste and they probably just weren't selling so they had a 30% sale. It's the only time in my life where I bought a chanel fragrance under 80 euros. I've been buying fragrances for twenty years now and there was a 50% two day sale on designer fragrances. I didn't even bother looking at the chanel counter the day I went. Because they are never on sale. The next day I went back, the Chanel counter looked like it had been ransacked. All the fragrances were gone- Chanel had all their fragrances half price and not even one was left.. this is the first time in twenty years I ever saw Chanel fragrances 50% off and I'm surprised they even authorized that.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    I don't recall ever seeing Chanels available at discounters.
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  22. #22
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    I see them here at the discounters I buy from but they are more or less the same price at retail.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    I think CHANEL is in the enviable position of being the dominant perfume seller in the world. They use that position to keep a firm hold on anyone trying to break ranks and sell for cheaper than usual retail.

    They've been milking BLEU for ten years and I'd bet it still outsells everything else.
    Between Covid and retirement I don't get out much. But when I do, I smell real good.

  24. #24
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Guerlain should be in that position..their fragrances are just as good if not better. But I shouldn't complain...not when I can get them at these crazy prices.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by ILikePeeps View Post
    Not from Russia. Just search on eBay for an Hermessence frag and find a tester.

    For example: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hermes-Epic...UAAOSwqlZf2nAX Seller has over 43400 feedback.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hermes-Epic...QAAOSwLGxfPzkX Over 5800 feedback.

    And the seller 'newport_luxury' seems to be a big one for Hermessence.
    Thanks. I think this could be because of lockdowns someone with testers decided to sell them. I never buy testers knowingly, so not my cup of tea.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    In Portugal I have bought Chanel from Douglas and Sephora from 25 to 30% discount (on store only) , even online you can have 20% discount from the biggest retailer in Portugal.

    https://www.perfumesecompanhia.pt/pt...-sport-chanel/

    I guess its different from country to country.

  27. #27
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    It's still expensive nowhere near the prices you can buy a Guerlain or a Boucheron..

  28. #28

    Default Re: Chanel question...

    I don't mind so much that they control their distribution, but they should offer a good sale once in a while. Although I must mention not much interests me from current Chanel except Allure Homme Sport Cologne which I like.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Foamywax View Post
    It's still expensive nowhere near the prices you can buy a Guerlain or a Boucheron..
    Guerlain and Boucheron don't have the brand name recognition that Chanel has. Go up to different people in different parts of the world, more will recognize Chanel over Guerlain & Boucheron.
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  30. #30
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chanel question...

    Hey. I'm cool with what Chanel are doing. Respectable reformulations and minimal discontinuations.

    What really ticks me off is what Dior does - have releases that are restricted to certain regions. Especially in the age of the pandemic when most aren't travelling.

    Le Labo does it as well, but their perfumes are usually bogus so it doesn't bother me.
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