FRANCE (Reims) - For the first time in years, the sale of champagne has experienced a downturn: While in 2007, roughly 339 million bottles were sold, only about 322 million bottles were sold last year, according to statements of the producer's association CIVC in the champagne city Reims on Thursday night. This is a decline of 4.8 percent and really surprising since in the past 15 years, sales had doubled by about 2 percent every year. In the years 2006 and 2007, there was even an increase in sales of 5 percent.
Champagne is still drunk most by the French; and the French market had a little better results - according to producers, there was a decline of 3.6 percent compared with a total of 6.5 percent in the European Union.
In 2000 there was the last downturn, after in 1999 tons of champagne was bought for New Year's Eve. Then, the sale of champagne went down from 327 million bottles to 253 million bottles in one year.
At the same time, the worldwide largest luxury goods group, the French company LVMH, is reporting more sales indeed, however there is also a shrinking growth rate in comparison to the previous year. As a reason for this the group argued that people buy less wine and spirits and that the economic crisis also had a bad effect on the business at the end of the year.
LVMH has more than 60 labels as members, like the fashion labels Fendi, Kenzo and Givenchy, the champagne labels Moët et Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cliquot und Krug as well as the watchmaker TagHeuer, the cosmetic chain Sephora and the Paris-based nobel mall Le Bon Marché. (aw.yoopress)