Louis Vuitton bids goodbye to Argentina


Even though Argentina is a glamorous country with a penchant for couture, luxury brands are no longer finding this market lucrative. French luxury giant Louis Vuitton is the latest label to flee from Argentinean shores, following Cartier, Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Escada, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent. Ermenegildo Zegna has downsized while Ralph Lauren has temporarily shut shop. A host of reasons are being held responsible for this, a clampdown of imports being the most dominant one. Foreign exchange controls, unpredictable policy making, an unwritten limit on dollar purchases for Argentines heading overseas as well as high rate of inflation are other contributing factors.
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Since Argentina defaulted on an approximate $100 billion debt in 2001, they have been cut off from international credit. But Enrique Meyer, tourism minister, remains unfazed with these developments and is more concerned about performance of Argentine brands overseas.
[FT]