Bernard Arnault, the boss of Louis Vuitton, is listed as the 4th richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine last week. As the richest person in France, I wonder if he is worried about the current situation in Japan?
He ought to.
According to this article, Japan, which makes up 11 percent of global luxury sales, are expected to harm Japan's economy and severely curb luxury spending for some time. It accounts for about 9 percent for LVMH (LVMH.PA).
The first day after the Tsunami, the French reporter (France 2 at 20h) was saying that the Japanese kept their calm (Sang froid), people were still buying LV bags. However, situation has changed. Currently, people are running out of Tokyo; Toyota, Honda, Sony and other big Japanese giants are temperarily closing their factories. The Tokyo Nikkei plunged 10.55% yesterday over nuclear leak in Fukushima. Besides, Japanese ladies are among the biggest consumers in French retail stores, LV shops in Paris are always packed with the Nippons.
Look at LV's stock traded in US, it nose-dived sharply on 15 Mar (-3.1%) with extremely huge volume of trading!
Will France richest man be taken over by France richest woman, Lilian Bettencourt (L'Oreal's boss)? I don't think the Japanese women will cut spending on cosmetics.