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LeCreuset Prices set to go up Feb 1st

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MOSFET Jan 27, 2011 12:37 PM

Was told yesterday by someone that LeCreuset is set to have a price increase Feb 1st

  1. g
    goodeatsgal Jan 27, 2011 08:58 PM

    Can you clarify who told you that (e.g., was it a Le Creuset person), and is this an across-the-board increase or just at certain retailers? Thanks.

    1. kaleokahu Jan 27, 2011 09:10 PM

      C'est encroyable, considering how marked DOWN it is everywhere these days and the stiff competition in ECI from the Far East. The trendy color thing will only work for them for so long...

      1. FoodFuser Jan 27, 2011 09:26 PM

        Buy Lodge.

        1. hobbybaker Jan 27, 2011 09:31 PM

          I heard the same argument years ago at several retailers. I don't know the annual price increase is an across- the-board. Frankly, I did not pay attention to the MSLP much. The final price ( after discount) always matters to me :)

          1. Jay F Jan 28, 2011 05:19 AM

            I'm glad I bought as much as I need last year.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jay F
              hobbybaker Jan 28, 2011 08:07 AM

              Yes. Agree. The deals on Sonoma Green and Indigo last summer/fall were really good. For LC, closeout color deals at outlet are the sweetest.

            2. c
              cutipie721 Jan 28, 2011 05:36 AM

              I can't care less about the price hike either. Those who can afford to pay MSRP can surely pay another $50 for the new releases.

              But really, LC cuts costs by putting plastic knobs on the lid, which isn't exactly oven safe. To replace it, you'd have to spend another $10 to get a matching knob. The new colors every few months isn't exactly wise for the company. I don't think kitchenware is "fashion". They're just churning out more stuff to be sold in the outlets. But, what do I know, if LC's not making a profit they wouldn't continue doing it.

              Now Staub on the other hand...

              5 Replies
              1. re: cutipie721
                hobbybaker Jan 28, 2011 08:42 AM

                I am curious how Staub is doing or will do after the winter seaon is gone. I don't see deals except some pieces at WS outlet and WS but really limited numbers and shapes.

                1. re: hobbybaker
                  c
                  cutipie721 Jan 28, 2011 11:39 AM

                  I think LC's banking on people's desire for new things and I don't like it. Staub has 5 colors, red blue green grey and black. When you've collected all 5, you're done. Since the pots will never break, you're no longer an active customer. LC on the other hand, all those yummy colors and shapes, when is it gonna end? Someone or the other has to have it all.

                  Maybe they reason why Staub doesn't have as many pots sent to the outlets is that their stuff can sit on the shelves for longer, since the colors don't rotate as often? You can get a 5.5qt S for $200, with a metal knob, at most places. The same size in LC is usually sold for $235, with a plastic knob. Now that they are on sale at Bloomies, it's still $200, with a plastic knob. The thing is, since it's a sale, people will buy it. Otherwise, is the white interior really worth 22.5% more than the black?

                  But hey, freedom of choice! Only you know what makes you happy.

                  1. re: cutipie721
                    m
                    MOSFET Jan 28, 2011 11:50 AM

                    You forgot Staub also has:lemon,grenadine,eggplant,orange,titanium,white

                    1. re: MOSFET
                      c
                      cutipie721 Jan 28, 2011 12:01 PM

                      Oh right! ;-) That makes it a total of 11 colors. Somehow I have a feeling that I must have seen more than 11 shades of blue, so I went to take a look. Apparently there are 23 shades of white *facepalm*.

                    2. re: cutipie721
                      hobbybaker Jan 28, 2011 02:07 PM

                      Staub has pesto (light green) , too. I saw it at Sur La Table Online

                      I don't want to go into the territory of Staub vs LC because for me decision was just made by accessibility. After having LC, I am interested in having one small Staub as WS rolled out Staub last fall . Before it was unable for me to see Staub in person proior to make a decision and it is not the way I buy expensive cookware . If the situation had been just opposite and I had no accessibility to LC, I would have bought Staub.

                      I am kind of looking Staub marked down but not successful so far. some day I will be able to buy Staub in France.

                2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 28, 2011 06:09 AM

                  I wonder if that is due to cost of labor going up in France or something. I doubt the material costs shot up.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    c
                    cutipie721 Jan 28, 2011 06:18 AM

                    You never know. The Chinese, of course, need lots of raw material to expand. The flood in Australia made it worse.

                    I could be wrong though, I don't know if cast iron is made of stuff that comes directly from an iron ore.

                    1. re: cutipie721
                      m
                      MOSFET Jan 28, 2011 06:56 AM

                      Its a very mild price increase from what I was told..Staub is great there only problem is there owned by Henckels...Blaaa!!!

                      1. re: MOSFET
                        Chemicalkinetics Jan 28, 2011 07:53 AM

                        This probably also means its competitiors may increase their prices too.

                  2. l
                    luvsummer Jan 28, 2011 07:11 AM

                    This seems foolish in light of all the inexpensive competitors out there now: Lodge, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, etc. I've got my eye on a pretty red 4 qt. brazier at Target for $50.

                    I got a postcard yesterday from Williams Sonoma touting their Le Creuset "signature" line which boasts, among other things, 45% bigger handles and phenolic knobs that can go to 480 deg. I guess that's an improvement for things like making no-knead bread. I've got a 30+ year old 7 qt. Le Creuset and a cast iron skillet which I don't care for, but I won't buy any more. The price differential between it and the competitors is just too big.

                    The outlet prices aren't very impressive either. I recently became interested in their cookware stand and checked the outlet, after determining that it cost $350 virtually everywhere. The outlet had it for 30% off of the "retail price" of something like $450, so not that much of a savings. I ended up buying it on eBay for $230--still ridiculously overpriced but it was the perfect fit for me and there wasn't really anything comparable out there.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: luvsummer
                      m
                      mikie Jan 28, 2011 09:01 AM

                      "This seems foolish in light of all the inexpensive competitors out there now: Lodge, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, etc. I've got my eye on a pretty red 4 qt. brazier at Target for $50."

                      I think you just made my point, people are either going to buy LeCreuset or maybe Staub (but Staub doesn't seem to have the fanatical following LC does) or they're going to buy something else that's already much much cheaper. If an LC goes up from list pirce of $230 to $240 or even $250, is that really going to matter, the price differential remains well over $100 either way. Would you really change your mind if the price differential were $130 instead of $150? Either you have the desire for a LC and the finances to get one, either retail or outlet, or you don't really care if it's a LC or not, in which case you buy the item at Target for a $150 savings.

                      I have nothing against either LC or Staub, I firmly believe they are the only two really high quality enameled dutch ovens made today. Obviously, other than the quality of the product, any enameled dutch oven will perform the desired task satisfactorly. So the quality French ovens are as much an obsession or luxury as a necessity. A company has to define their market niche and I don't believe LC sees themselves as a competitor of Martha Stewart, or any of the dozen's of celeberty chefs that endorse products made in China. Their prices are so far appart now that a 10% price increase is really meanningless.

                      1. re: mikie
                        m
                        MOSFET Jan 28, 2011 09:11 AM

                        I was just throwing out this for people to know just in case they were pondering buying a piece. Looking at it on day for $235 and next week when they go to order they see it went up.And wonder WTF??

                        1. re: MOSFET
                          m
                          mikie Jan 28, 2011 09:18 AM

                          That's what I figured, no explaination necessary for me. I was more or less pointing out that I really don't think it will adversely effect their sales volume. It's kind of like pulling up to the gass pump, it was $2.79 last night and this morning it's $2.99, I'm still filling up.

                        2. re: mikie
                          kaleokahu Jan 28, 2011 09:40 AM

                          mikie: Good points, all. I agree with most of what you said.

                          However, LC has spent fortunes trying to convince us their products ARE a necessity. They are marketed to the masses at least as much as to the elites. LC's success (survival?) as a large company will depend on competing with the Far East knockoffs. To the extent they raise prices--especially in these tough economic times--they are going to be selling fewer pans.

                          If true, another way to look at the price increases is as a white flag, i.e., they've decided NOT to compete in the mass market, and therefore relegate themselves to a narrow luxury niche market. Frankly, I would respect them more for taking this course than I would them succumbing to lowering quality, moving their production to China, or just licensing/selling the name. But if they shrink this way, it will be a completely different business and (once the Chinese figure out/steal the enamels), still arguably no better.

                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            Chemicalkinetics Jan 28, 2011 09:58 AM

                            "LC has spent fortunes trying to convince us their products ARE a necessity"

                            Every companies do that. All-Clad or J.A. Henckels try to tell you that you cannot make good foods unless you get their cookware, right? (more or less)

                            "they've decided NOT to compete in the mass market, and therefore relegate themselves to a narrow luxury niche market."

                            They are already selling luxury products. Most people in America do not have a $300 Le Creuset Dutch Oven, let alone an entire set of LC. That said, raising price will reduce the potential buyer population even smaller, but it will have a larger profit margin. So in the end, I am sure it is just trying to maximize the total profit..

                            "once the Chinese figure out/steal the enamels"

                            We are not talking about some high tech computers or medical devices. The enameled cookware is more about quality control than real research and development.

                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              m
                              mikie Jan 28, 2011 10:39 AM

                              Well, convincing us ALL that we can't live without the latest LC color is MARKETING at its best. They have done a great job of making people believe LC is the pinacle of cooking, but the price continues to be an obsticle for a large segment of the cooking public.

                              Since I don't see LeCreuset on the shelves of the major discount stores, I'm going to say that they are not mass marketing, or at least not where I live. I don't know how they can compete with the made in China knock offs, they can't possibly have the price structure in France to compete dollar for dollar. If they sell out and produce in China, I think they loose the following they now have. Made in France has to have some appeal to many of us that own either LC or Staub. It appeals to me, mostly because I don't want stuff made in China.

                              A small price increase may be the white flag and a way to boost profits. Like you said they have done very well convincing us their products are a necessity.

                              1. re: mikie
                                kaleokahu Jan 28, 2011 12:38 PM

                                mikie: I haven't seen it myself, but there is a recent thread here where folks were drooling over large LC ECI ovens offered at Costco. I've seen their clad and stoneware in the discount stores. And the local outlet mall here, with a LC outlet, is definitely not a toney shopping spot.

                                I don't know how they can compete with the knockoffs, either. Once the Chinese get the QC/QA figured out, it's gonna be tough. Selling out may be the only way to survive. But raising prices now seems counterproductive.

                        3. Jay F Jan 28, 2011 08:25 AM

                          The Bloomingdale's Le Creuset sale is open online now (12:24 pm Friday, Jan. 28, 2011): http://www.bloomingdales.com/catalog/...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jay F
                            hobbybaker Jan 28, 2011 08:28 AM

                            I checked it and posted at the original post by cuetiepie but found out online prices are higher than instore by $20 depending on the pieces. Also shipping is charged for less than $300 purchase without Bloomindales card.

                          2. c
                            Chipped Ham Jan 28, 2011 12:22 PM

                            LeCreuset have gone up constantly since 1975-no surprise here. Does the word "overpriced" come to mind? Especially since Target, Walmart, TJMaxx, etc all offer similar stuff for $35-$50.
                            Good luck to them for shooting themselves in the foot. Hideously overpriced!!!!

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