Last week, the good folks over at Purseblog blew the lid off of a little-publicized, yet widely occurring practice that is going on in the handbag world. Apparently people from all over the world, enthusiastic to purchase a coveted Hermes handbag from the Paris flagship store, are putting themselves through some pretty intense rigmaroles for the privilege.
Part of the process of purchasing a luxury product form a storied design house is the expectation that you will be pampered; ushered into a VIP suite and fawned-over for a while, ultimately making the experience of parting with a significant wad of cash more palatable. However, it appears that for Hermes, demand has dictated that this is rarely the case at their Flagship Store.
For those who wish to part with their cash at the Hermes Flagship store in Paris, the first step in the procedure is rather.....pedestrian — they have to get in line. The store opens at 10:30 am, and there will likely be handfuls of people already there hours in advance.
Once you advance to the front of the line, your handbag is still several steps away — you are given an appointment time in which you will be seen, much like at a doctor's office. And also like the doctor's office, your actual appointment will likely not happen at your given appointment time; customers are sent a link from Hermes, which they are then in charge of refreshing throughout the day in order to keep track of the ever-changing appointment times. Naturally, this means not only can customer not be too far from the Flagship store at any given time, but also that they must have a data-enabled phone with them at all times, running-up.
Once inside, you are allowed to view only one handbag at a time. An associate gathers information from you as to what your style preferences are, and brings out a bag from the stock room that meets (or comes close) to your criteria. If you wish to see more than one bag before parting with your hard-earned cash (remember, these bags start at around $15,000), the first bag must be returned to the stock room, where it can potentially be scooped-up by another customer while you ponder your style options.
It's extreme, yes, but such is the demand for the Global Flagship shopping experience that people are willing to put themselves through this procedure, all for the privilege of dropping upwards of fifteen thousand dollars on a handbag. Of course, you could simply visit one of the many other Hermes locations all over the globe; however, they may not have the same selection, but will definitely afford you a much less stringent shopping experience. While that would likely be our personal choice, the demand for bags at the Flagship store continues to grow. Apparently handbag stress is the new black.