Hermès’ Employees Under Microscope


Kashika Arora 11/03/19 #copyright #patent #trademark #brandprotection #infringement #news #newsupdate #topnews #world #headlines #breakingnews #latestnews #trending #hotnews #blogging #education #educationalblog #Hermès #France #LawEnforcement #counterfeit

The fake products were said to make in some factory in China. But this was a myth was put to an end when it was discovered that the fake Hermès bags were manufactures in little-known workshops on the outskirts of Paris in order to meet the incessant demand. These fake bags were difficult to differentiate from the original Hermès. They even had the small gold stamp on the front that read “Hermès Paris Made in France” and packaged in one of Hermès’ signature orange boxes.

The counterfeit industry for Hermès is over $22 million and these operations that were being carried out in France, right under the nose of Hermès, the 181-year-old, closely-guarded Parisian stalwart luxury brand. The brand has carefully managed to increase the supply of the intense demand for luxury bags.  Still, the demand for Hermès – Birkin is at a constant rise among the well to-do customers all over the globe. The counterfeit industry is flourishing as the bags look and feel real.

It is said that at least some of the materials being used are coming directly from bona fide Hermès workshops. And most critically part was that at least two of its own employees were intimately involved in the budding criminal enterprise.  Hermès’ longtime former CEO Patrick Thomas said in 2012, “80 per cent of objects sold on the Internet under the Hermès names are fakes.”He further added, “It's an absolute disgrace”. This shady business was costing the French economy as a whole a whopping $7.5 billion in lost revenue per annum (according to government reports), this number has been escalating over the years. One of the major concerns is the sophistication of the players and their global counterfeiting operations have been advancing significantly, as well. With that in mind, industry insiders, trade organizations, and law enforcement officials have been paying attention for decades – watching the risks to their own interests rise, as well.

Under the French Law not only it is not only illegal to make and sell counterfeit goods, but it is also a criminal offence to buy them. To make the customers aware of the counterfeits Comitè Colbert (to promote the concept of luxury), an association of 81 French luxury brands, started an awareness drive in France. 10,000 posters were put up in 18 airports so that it could be brought to the knowledge of the customers about the counterfeits available.  One of the posters read “Buy a fake Cartier, get a genuine criminal record,” another one was a Cannage Lady Dior bag, declared, “Real ladies don't like a fake.”

Hermès had acquired evidence of “abnormal behaviour identified through [its] internal monitoring systems,” and begun to suspect that things were fishy under its own roof. Armed with such “clues,” Hermès took its findings to French Law Enforcement and filed a complaint. After almost a year of investigation by the French Law Enforcement, they had been tracking leads, engaging in surveillance, and tracing the orange branded boxes – and even some genuine Hermès leather and hardware – back to the brand (by way of two rogue employees). That same day, in another part of town, the two unnamed Hermès employees were simultaneously being let go from their jobs and arrested. These employees had been integral to the workings of the ring, Hermès harboured suspicions that “several current members of staff could also be involved,” and vowed to continue its own internal probe.

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