France’s Chanel has no immediate plans for online sales of its coveted outfits or handbags, a senior executive says, making it one of the fashion world’s last holdouts as rivals experiment with websites to win over new clients.

If you give everything to everyone straight away, I think you lose that exclusivity
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel

The label, known for its tweed suits and US$4,300-plus quilted leather bags, already sells perfumes online, such as its Chanel No 5, as well as spectacles and beauty products.

But it will draw the line there for the foreseeable future, Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel said.

“If you give everything to everyone straight away, I think you lose that exclusivity,” Pavlovsky said at a Vogue conference in Paris last Friday.

“I’m not saying we won’t try it one day, but if we do, it will be because we’ll really think there’s some added value.”

Luxury goods brands were slow to develop e-commerce sites as they worried that making products too widely available would erode their cachet.

I’m not saying we won’t try it one day, but if we do, it will be because we’ll really think there’s some added value
Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion at Chanel

Yet most have now taken the plunge. Conglomerate LVMH , parent to Louis Vuitton, hired a former Apple executive and recently launched a site hosting multiple labels, though its online strategy at each of its brands still varies wildly.

Web sales will make up about 10 per cent of revenues in the luxury goods market this year, according to consultancy Bain, which predicts that they could reach 25 per cent by 2025.

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However, Chanel’s out-of-step attitude was not a drag on the business, Pavlovsky said, adding that the label, founded by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1910, was reaching an increasingly young audience and had waiting lists for its best-selling bags.

Controlled by secretive billionaires Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Chanel does not regularly release financial results.

Controlled by secretive billionaires Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Chanel does not regularly release financial results.

According to figures filed with the Amsterdam exchange, Chanel’s net profit fell nearly 35 per cent in 2016 and sales dropped 9 per cent to US$5.7 billion.

Most major rivals have enjoyed a sales bounce in 2017.

Chanel is no stranger to digital marketing, however, showing images on media such as Instagram and Twitter from its extravagant catwalk shows and collections by designer Karl Lagerfeld.

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Yet buyers want to try on the clothes, Pavlovsky said, adding that the business would look into providing “e-services” to allow buyers to reserve items online or make store appointments.

“Every time I’m in China I meet clients who come and say, ‘Whatever you do don’t do e-commerce. The day you do it for us this won’t be exclusive anymore’,” Pavlovsky said.