Jimmy Choo shoes 45% dearer here than in Britain


WHEN SHOEMAKER Jimmy Choo launched his first collection for a high street chain earlier this month, it seemed shoppers were finally getting the chance to snap up the luxury brand synonymous with red carpet glitter at an affordable price.

However, Irish consumers are being charged a mark-up of up to 45 per cent on Choo’s designs for Swedish clothing chain H&M, it has emerged.

A pair of strap shoe Jimmy Choos on vertiginous high heels is selling for €129 in H&M’s Irish outlets.

Yet the same pair of shoes, advertised in the media with exactly the same photograph, costs just £79.99 (€88.86) in the chain’s British shops, a price hike of 45 per cent.

The company’s Irish prices also represent a 30 per cent mark-up on its euro-zone price, which is listed on its website as €99.

Other items in the Jimmy Choo range of accessories for H&M are also significantly dearer in Ireland. A zebra print bag, for example, costs €99 in Ireland compared to £69.99 (€77.74) in the UK, a mark-up of 27 per cent. A one-shoulder leather dress costs €199 in Irish shops, but only £149.99 (€166.60) in the UK, a mark-up of more than 19 per cent.

A London-based spokeswoman for H&M claimed its prices were “approximately the same” in all the markets in which it operated. “However, there can be some price differences between specific markets, mainly due to different taxes and transport costs.”

Prices were set at head office in Stockholm, she said, and took into account the “overall market situation and cost level in every country”. This is always done with the view that the customer should “find attractive product offerings at good value for money”.

According to the spokeswoman, prices would also be influenced by fluctuations between the currency in which clothing was purchased, usually dollars, and the currency in which they were sold.

Queues were reported in various parts of the world – although not in Ireland – when the designer range went on sale in H&M stores earlier this month.

A favourite of celebrities since the brand’s launch in 1996, Jimmy Choo shoes have been worn at the Oscars by winners such as Cate Blanchett, Halle Berry and Hilary Swank.