How many times have we been stopped in Soho by a group of giggling tourists wondering where Canal Street is? Answer: too many times. So while on the surface we have no reason to believe the fake hangbag industry isn’t booming, Louis Vuitton has plenty of evidence to the contrary..
According to Kenneth Klug, Louis Vuitton North America’s director of criminal enforcement (yes, this is a job that exists!), the influx of fake goods into the country has gone down significantly in the past few years. In 2004, 2 million fake Louis Vuitton bags were seized by U.S. customs officials. This year, only 200,000 bags were seized — a 90% decrease.
What is responsible for such a drop? WWD explains:
The reduction was due in part to successful U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement efforts targeting shipping containers of counterfeits coming through domestic ports. While online sales of fake goods are a significant problem for Louis Vuitton, most fake bags still enter the U.S. in large container shipments through ports in Los Angeles and New York because the shipping costs are lower in bulk than mailing each individual item.
We definitely can’t complain about seeing less fake Speedys on the street! The issue of counterfeit goods extends far beyond Canal, however. As we learned last month, even Neiman has been accused of selling fakes.