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Fictional Futures: The merger of LVMH and IHG.

Why LVMH's should acquire IHG: A Game-Changer for the Hospitality Industry?

*Disclaimer: This article is a fictional exploration of the potential acquisition between LVMH and IHG and does not represent any official announcements or intentions.

Imagine a world in which luxury fashion and world-class hospitality merge, creating an unparalleled experience for the most opulent travelers. That's the vision that comes to mind when thinking of a potential acquisition of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) by the luxury retail giant LVMH. In this opinion piece, we delve into the impact such a move could have on the industry, the transformation of Intercontinental Hotel Group, and why LVMH's expansion into luxury hospitality makes for a compelling proposition.

As we embark on this visionary journey, let us ponder the potential impact, envision the transformation of IHG, and embrace the notion that luxury can transcend fashion, hospitality, and beyond.

The Perfect Marriage of Luxury Brands

Renowned for its exceptional portfolio of luxury fashion, accessories, and spirits, LVMH would undoubtedly elevate the luxury hospitality segment to new heights. Already making significant impact in the hospitality sector with its acquisition of Belmond hotels in 2019, the addition of IHG's luxury brands into LVMH's prestigious portfolio could further strengthen their position as a leader in luxury hospitality. A seamless integration of style, elegance, and impeccable service. Picture the alliance between iconic fashion labels like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Givenchy alongside IHG's renowned luxury hotels, such as The Regent, InterContinental or Six Senses. The result? An unique blend of refined luxury and incomparable experiences.

Just for context, some words of Bernard Arnault after acquiring Belmond hotels:

Reshaping the Industry Landscape

Such a significant acquisition would undoubtedly send shockwaves throughout the hospitality industry. LVMH's expertise in branding, marketing, and creating immersive experiences could spark a wave of innovation into the hotel industry. With Six Senses joining IHG in 2019, the group is already on the path towards more engaging experiences. Apart from the experiences, our industry, which is currently evolving to meet the demands of the next-generation traveler, could witness a transformative shift driven by the collaboration of these industry giants. It would compel other players in the market, such as Hilton or Marriott, to reimagine their strategies to remain competitive. Specifically for their luxury portfolio.

IHG's brands

One could wonder how this merger would look like. Specifically, since LVMH likely solely has interest in the upper-class hotel segment. What would that mean for IHG's portfolio brands? Well, in my opinion it would go as follows.

Currently, the brands creating most value for IHG are Holiday Inn Express & Holiday Inn (Statista, 2022). Upon purchase, LVMH would sell those brands to a giant such as Marriott or Hilton.

The InterContinental brand would most likely be the only one whose name is preserved. The herritage, that Bernard Arnault mentioned during the purchase of Belmond, is something that InterContinental has going for them. Especially when you realise the first InterContinental property opened years before the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton even existed.

The actual properties however, would most certainly receive a modest remodelling to suit the finesse of LVMH. When visiting an InterContinental hotel at the moment, you never know what to expect, Madrid feels outdated, Singapore is stunning. This inconsistency would be unacceptable for a business in the portfolio of LVMH.

The Vignette collection as well as Six Senses would most likely be rebranded to Belmond hotels, all in all, they are rather similar and a great way to expand the the Belmond brand. Below you will read that the statement and mission of Vignette & Belmond are close to identical. Six senses would allow LVMH to expand their clientele with the sustainable minded 1%.

Would all the other mid-range hotels or lifestyle brands be sold to other companies? Or do you think LVMH has some other purpose to make those brands part of its houses.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

The Retail-Hospitality Connection

One intriguing aspect of LVMH's venture into luxury hospitality lies in the intersection between retail and travel. Imagine stepping into a Louis Vuitton boutique and being offered an exclusive package that includes a stay at a lavish Intercontinental hotel, complete with personalised services and curated experiences.

The seamless integration between luxury retail and hospitality would not only drive revenue but also forge an emotional connection with retail products, creating an immersive and unforgettable journey.

Möet mimosas for breakfast, while watching the sunrise over the Indian Ocean?

A neat Hennessy accompanied with live jazz in New Orleans?

Being able to not only create a product, but also create the feeling associated with it would create an never ending opportunity of upselling, brand awareness and revenue generation.

Embracing the Uncharted

Venturing into luxury hospitality would unlock a myriad of opportunities for LVMH. It would allow the company to further engage with its loyal customer base, offering a comprehensive luxury lifestyle experience that transcends fashion and extends into the realm of unforgettable travel. By creating a seamless connection between their luxury brands and Intercontinental Hotels, LVMH would solidify its position as a true innovator, shaping the future of both the fashion and hospitality industries.

In Conclusion

While the acquisition of IHG by LVMH remains a tantalising possibility, the mere contemplation of such a move ignites our imagination. The fusion of luxury fashion and hospitality would undoubtedly redefine the industry landscape, inspiring others to think beyond traditional boundaries.

Oh and btw:

"Hey Arnault, perhaps if IHG is not interested in selling, Minor Hotel's Anantara would make for a lovely Belmond."



*Disclaimer: This article is a fictional exploration of the potential acquisition between LVMH and IHG and does not represent any official announcements or intentions.

Thank you all for reading our Fictional Futures Article!

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Also, we would love to hear your personal and professional opinions! Lets open the discussion!

Questioning the Status Quo, what do you think?

With the potential acquisition of IHG, LVMH would not only disrupt the hospitality industry but also challenge traditional notions of luxury. How would Intercontinental Hotels transform under the creative vision of LVMH? Could we expect fashion-forward design concepts, avant-garde collaborations, and immersive storytelling within their properties? And how would this unique collaboration inspire other luxury retailers to explore the world of hospitality?

Let us know how you think this merger would shape the hospitality industry in the comments below!

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