Last week Hennessy organized a huge event in the town of Cognac: The president of the société anonyme, James Banier, welcomed most of the Cognac producers, which sell their eaux-de-vie to the maison de négoce Hennessy.
About 12% less volume
A meeting, marked with the seal of Hennessy is necessarily a show: Sound, light and beautiful images dominate the evening.
Bernard Peillon, president of the trading house Hennessy appears on stage and the crisis, the decline in shipments, is under control. Peillon asks to wait for April/May to see how shipments of Cognac will go up again.
Hennessy experienced a decrease in its volume by 11.9% while the whole region had to suffer from a decrease of 15.4%. Hennessy is less hit than other producers and defends its unique position in the market: The huge graphs that appear behind Bernard Peillon are impressive, Hennessy controls 44% of the market share worldwide. One point higher than in 2003, leaving the other three competing Cognac houses behind (Martell, Rémy Martin, Courvoisier).
“We have ten points more than a decade ago,” says Bernard Peillon.
Luxury is not dead
The superior qualities (XO and above) represent 35% of volumes sold, 30% VS and VSOP 35%. The strategy seems to work and Bernard Peillon adds that the Hennessy consumers remained loyal to the brand.
No question, the luxury niche still exists and works well. Paradis Horus, sold for 1 250 €, which was as launched in late 2009 in Asia, or XO Mathusalem by Berluti, sold at 18 000 €, which found 50 buyers the evening of its launch in Hangzhou. No, “luxury is not dead.”