This will come as a shock to most of you. Online LVMH-owned e-tailer will be closing its retail operation. eLuxury, known for high end designer handbags, including Louis Vuitton, will be transitioning its site into an online magazine focusing on luxury markets. The doors to the retail operation will close and a spokeswoman from LVMH claimed this transition is because many of the brands eLuxury sells have developed their own online presences.

This news is unexpected for many, including us at Purse Blog. We have enjoyed working with eLuxury over the past four years and shared a great relationship with them. My first LV Bag, the infamous Wapity, was an eLuxury purchase. We will share more information with you as we hear it. Thank you eLuxury for all of the amazing years you provided us with luxury goods!

Read the story and tell us what you think about eLuxury closing their retail operation., the designer e-commerce site launched in June 2000 by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, will close the retail portion of the site over the next six months.

A spokeswoman at LVMH confirmed the San Francisco-based e-tailer is in the early stages of transitioning the site into an online magazine focusing on luxury markets. She said the reason for the closure of the retail operation was not based on the site’s financial performance, but rather because many of the brands it sells have developed their own online presences. was a pioneer in online luxury retailing, offering designer apparel and accessories, beauty and children’s collections from such brands as Christian Dior, Pucci, Celine, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Tod’s and an exclusive Louis Vuitton boutique. Sources said eLuxury has shown consistent sales growth overall “” experiencing double-digit increases from 2007 to 2008.

“Starting in mid 2009, eLuxury’s new mission will be to create an ‘e-window’ into the world of luxury, by serving as an information reference for luxury in fashion, art de vivre, leather goods, wines and spirits, watches and jewelry, gastronomy, cars, yachts and services,” the spokeswoman said. “To that end, eLuxury intends to develop collaborations with the most prestigious names in the world of luxury media, as well as the main contributors of the luxury world.”

The company plans to close the retail portion of its business completely by June and plans to move many of its employees over to other positions within LVMH.

Some industry sources said they were surprised with LVMH’s choice to appoint David Asher as eLuxury president position in August. One source said that while he had almost 18 years of experience in luxury retail, having worked at Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, he had little experience in e-tailing, unlike his predecessor, Ann Helper, who was with eLuxury since its launch. The LVMH spokeswoman confirmed Asher will stay with the brand to spearhead plans to transform the site.

Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst for the Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said she was shocked to hear of eLuxury’s decision to close its retail business. “I’m honestly really surprised,” she said. “It seemed to be doing so well.”

Mulpuru said that with the luxury market hurting overall and stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus suffering in this economy, she predicts there will be many more store closings, both online and offline. “Anyone who isn’t strong in this environment is especially vulnerable and will not survive,” she said. “But I really didn’t see this one coming.”

Story via WWD

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Zarka

    I read about this also on another web site just a few hours before this weblog…I am also very sad…I was planning on buying an LV purse from their site….It is really sad that the only authentic online high end designer estore is going to go kaput in six months.

    Sad…sad times…:(

  • Andie

    Wow, this is incredibly suprising. I mean, Elux was the place to go online for Vuitton – that’s just the way it was. No matter what they claim, no one chooses to stop making money to make a regualr old fashion/luxury website. I guess the weak sales during Christmas showed them that later this year, maintenance would be impossible. Of course, in a declining market the first thing to go besides Venti half caf moccachinnos from your budget is 5000 dollar bags.

  • harleyNemma

    I am really surprised by this announcement (although I will admit to only one elux purchase in 8+ years). The times are definitely changing – retrenching for all industries seems the norm in today’s economy.

  • Toni

    I’m stunned! I,for one,will be sorry to see this site go.


    it’s surprising because it’s another outlet to sell one’s product but maybe it wasnt cost effective enough

  • hns4ever

    So sad….I will miss the no tax part of eLuxury!

  • MM

    I am so sad

  • Photogirl

    Interesting. And sad for all of those who may be losing their jobs. Yet I think this is just one more indication that the days of reckless and vulgar spending have come to an abrupt end.
    I wonder how we will come to define luxury in the midst of this recession. Perhaps it will no longer be synonomous with It bags, bling, and foolish cars, but instead a reflection of something more meaningful. Only time will tell.

  • M

    so sad indeed! is elux still the only place to buy LV online?

  • kojiko

    darn now i wont have a place to preview bag prices before going to the boutique. :( man that sucks

  • Gina

    I’m sick to my stomach right now. I lOVE e-luxury. I also will miss the no tax part of shopping with them. Better order the bag I’ve had my eye on. Thanks for the info Megs.

  • missnox63

    poignant thoughts, Photogirl. thanks

  • coco13

    God, I hope NAP survives…

  • Apple

    LVMH hires a guy with no e-commerce experience to be a CEO of an e-commerce website (and from what I hear from friends in NY that’s not the worst of it..). Wasn’t that just setting them up for failure? And why does he get to keep his job (and his friends from what i’ve read on another site) and everyone else gets pushed out? I’ve seen a few posts from soon to be former employees who are angry and state LVMH has no intention of helping most of them finds jobs, only a very very small handful. This is terrible, you would think a large corporate machine like LVMH would be better organized and take better care of their staff and biz ventures. I would keep a close eye on this to see how it plays out.

  • Oliana

    One more cycle comes to an end. Verry sorry to hear that, what’s next? Net-a-porter? I hope not!

  • sharon

    I’m definitely at a loss with this news.

  • Peach

    Who is ‘Apple’? I think you seem closer to the real facts in the story. The story is juicy. Nobody asked why their old ceo abruptly left or the sales on the new shop, that seems to be a spinoff of e-luxury.

    None of the sites mentioning this story are critical thinking for fear of upsetting lvmh who owns so many advertisers. RIP e-luxury you surprised me with this one.

  • Cats

    Yet more bad news from the retail sector. I’ll miss elux.

  • Apple

    I’m a fashion insider, and a write for a couple fashion magazines. I can tell you there is much more to this story, but the quickest simplest explanation is that LVMH really had no intention (allegedly as legal would say) of continuing eLUX after Ann Helpers departure, and thats why they bought in someone like Asher. No e-commerce experience? I’ve even heard from a couple staffers he had never shopped online, and told the entire company this during some type of luncheon meeting. What? They will not (allegedly) find new jobs for the eLUX staffers, just the usual line so they would continue working while they are being phased out and tie up old ends. I don’t see why if it’s being converted into a fashion e mag or editorial website why they don’t set up a program to assist those employees into applying and qualifying for these new jobs. I am currently attempting to secure interviews with a couple of employees i’ve been referred to within the organization for a feature article. I also don’t buy the June date as well. And your right, everyone is just buying the line LVMH is selling because no one wants to be the ones to cross them, but quite honestly, in this period of recession and chaos, a corporate conglomerate that makes millions upon millions every day from their various enterprises in the US as well as across the world needs a much better excuse then “many of the lines have their own websites therefore we are becoming an online luxury magazine”. They should be held accountable, called on their BS, and reported on much like any other company of its size and reputation.

  • Interesting insights ‘Apple’, thanks for sharing.

  • lauren

    thank you apple for telling it like it is. They should be held accountable. very very strange…

  • Alex

    thank you, Apple, for your comments :) very refreshing to read an articulate statement.

  • balthus

    Not only no tax but cash back via ebates! Bummer.

  • Mam

    Apple is full of S. He/She makes a lot of mistakes for a writer. “And your right, everyone…” should be And you’re right. Comments like “quickest simplest” sounds like a retard wrote it. I really loved “I also don’t buy the June date as well.” It would have been more appropriate to write: I don’t buy the June date, either. This person is not a professional writer. Don’t be fooled.

  • Apple

    Teacher teacher, can I play too?

    Are you serious? Your so anal retentive your doing a verse/structure check on a blog post? How little of you. Oh, and btw..many of us journalists/writers write in random form and edit later. But i’m sure you’d know all about that right? It’s a blog about handbags not my dissertation.

  • Mam

    Again, it should be “You’re so anal retentive, you’re…” I don’t know what the heck you are talking about. You continue to make basic mistakes that a real writer wouldn’t make in the first place. Random form? Give me a break. You are a fraud. Your mistakes were so obvious that it made me sick just reading your stupid ass comment. A good college education would fix those quirks and idiosyncrasies. Go get an education. Maybe then you can get online and play reporter.

  • Merve

    ooo why is a fight breaking out here? I also believe that Apple is making some very obvious grammatical errors but she is a fashion writer for god’s sake not a columnist for the Times. And just to correct u both its either anal-retentive or anally retentive! Really sad to hear that eluxury is no more, as it was one of the few authentic sites going. :(

  • Betsy

    Does anyone know if they will have a sale on all their bags before they close???

  • jane

    Oh, Mam. Why don’t you just tell us what you’re so angry about? Is it what Apple is saying, or are you honestly that upset over a typo? And if YOU knew anything at all about publishing, you would know that reporters submit articles to their editors that are usually riddled with errors. That is what copy editors and proofreaders are for, dips**t.

    Sounds like you have a personal interest, real or imagined, in the allegations made in Apple’s post. Why not address that instead of nit-picking over apostrophes? It just makes you look small and pedantic.

  • M_butterfly

    very sad indeed!!

  • shopalot

    This is shocking news of course, but I guess not surprising given that the new CEO has no e-commerce experience!
    This is no real loss for me as they did not ship to Canada.

  • jenny

    Most CEO’s in the .com world don’t have e-commerce experience. Including the CEO of net-a-porter, of, and of, and I researched and it appears as Ann Helper did not have much of any e-commerce experience when she became president of e-luxury. I don’t know what the fuss is about. I do hear that the magazine is going to be MAJOR!! Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • tallymia

    It’s sad indeed and I definitely did not expect this, but I can see their point… eLuxury was created to sell merchandise of LVMH brands online, but now since most of them are available via designer’s websites, eLuxury is becoming a DIRECT COMPETITOR of their own brands. What’s the point of employing all these people to keep eLux running, when all the customer’s will still be shopping with LVMH, just at direct websites. Meanwhile, eLuxury can keep its name and reputation, but create a new profitable online magazine, with less employees and less merchandise on hand. Yeah, it’s highly unlikely most of the employees of eLuxury will be given jobs at other LVMH brands, but that’s just how business works, LVMH has to do what best for them and employees are laid off every day now. Neiman Marcus just let go 375 people few days ago….. Sucks, but that’s life!

  • Mam

    I write for a newspaper. “…reporters submit articles to their editors that are usually riddled with errors” is a bunch of bull. Maybe at the crappy newspapers, but not at the one I work for. All I was trying to do was protect you ladies from poor information. She claimed to have inside information. She claimed credentials… and her credentials looked bogus to me… so I warned that her info might be bogus too. There were no ulterior motives involved Jane. And Merve, I never corrected her on the use of anal-retentive. So you are not correcting me.

  • Brenda

    Thank you mam, i think you’re right about Apple. i smell bullsh*t. there are sooo many liars out there, trying to pretend they’re something they are not. Apple is one of those people. Then there are the gullible monkeys that take everything they see as truth, then get mad when someone challenges that “truth”, Jane is one of those people.

  • Annie

    I can’t believe they are closing down. I purchased all my LV bags and wallets from Eluxury. I really like their tax free purchase.

  • Michelle

    I am honestly puzzled by Mam. Why are you so suspicious and angry?

  • Banana

    Ok I couldn’t resist and I created a name as fruity as Apple.

    I don’t know who Apple is, but I have to say a couple things. eLuxury sells over 80 brands. Less than ten of those brands are owned by LVMH. So Tallymia, you’re assertion, which is widely held by the public and even by many fashion and retail professionals, is correct. The only LVMH brands offered on eLuxury that have their own e-commerce sites are: LV and Fresh, or and Pucci, which wanted eLuxury to do their e-commerce several years ago but Ann thought they were too small to bother, so a few years later the Yoox group was able to do it for Pucci (which was upsetting in Paris since many people on the LVMH board always expected eLuxury to be the incubator to launch most of the LVMH e-commerce sites, thats why the employees in SF at eLuxury thought Paris was so generous with funding for so many years). Back to who from LVMH that’s sold on eLuxury has their own e-commerce for areas that eLuxury ships: Dior does not, nor does Fendi, or MJ.

    I just took a look at the line up of brands and already quite a few have pulled their items from the site or they are sold out (most likely pulled from the site as Yohji did);jsessionid=1VWJQP20NXSJECRDSY4U3NQKEOLEA2NC

    Note how many LVMH brands? Yeah, hardly any.

    Anyway, the most important thing for journalists to do is not weep that the business is closing, but to ask why LVMH says they are closing the ‘retail operation of eluxury’ when retail is all eluxury was. It just makes publishers and journalists look scared of offending the LVMH advertising and bloggers look like they’re afraid they’ll not be invited to the next bloggers breakfast if they confront hot air press releases.

    I’m looking forward to the magazine by the way, hope it comes soon.

  • CMW

    I am truly sorry to see eLuxury close their retail site. I bought my first pair of Celine Tennis shoes January of 2003 (yes, I checked my order history and YES, I still have them). Many LV bags, luggage, scarves, dior and fendi shoes followed… ;-)

    And, lucky me, my final purchase is the Dolce & Gabbana Pink Ostrich Wristlet at roughly 25% of the original retail price (sorry my fellow shoppers).

    Looking forward to the magazine too!

  • Sofipty

    I loved Eluxury, it was the best site ever. I loved the design, the way they displayed their products, the details, the pictures. I mean it was a trully amazing site, and no doubt the people doing the development were pros. Unfortuntaly, probably the maintance was costing them too much, and the sales margin generated trough the site didn’t justify the operational expenses associated to maintaining the site. I find this hard to believe though but who knows maybe they are just trying to maximize profits and this seems as a low hanging fruit to achieve the desired results.
    I hope there is a better rationale behind this desicion other than mere cogs/opex reduction. As a luxury customer, I find it annoying that such a convinient way or buying products is no longer available. Perhaps the intent is to increase demand by limiting the delivery channels?
    I am looking forward to hear more insider info! Lookinf forward to everyone’s posts.

    My few cents.

  • Jack

    by the way, who is Mam? This person needs to be slapped.

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  • Brooke

    They had HORRIBLE, and I mean, HORRIBLE customer service.

  • Dino

    Just curious to see if this comment will be read by any of those who posted three years ago.  Apple was correct, I don’t know who Apple is but Apple was completely correct.  Mam is a moron.