Retail

Luxury Sales ‘Out Of Fashion’ According To New Report

Handbags, shoes, watches and designer clothing — season to season, what was in before is now out. And what’s out these days is luxury brands’ sales growth. It’s “so out” that experts say that the holiday season for high-end luxury will likely hit its lowest point in the past seven years.

The reason for the drop in luxury spending growth includes currency exchange rates, Britain-American political volatility and prevailing terrorism concerns, especially in certain fashion-focused cities. That’s according to a study by Bain & Co. and Altagamma out this week. The pair produced a 53-page report on shopping habits recently, stating that the wealthiest shoppers — across the globe — are more so keeping an eye on their wallets by being thrifty.

Whether it’s shoes, handbags, watches or another fancier luxury item, the sales are expected to plateau at $273.4 billion. In terms of sales, current exchange rates, according to the study, have popped down 1 percent from last year.

Experts at Bain say this is “the new normal,” citing certain main focus points as to the way spending is changing.

But the brands are still trying to gain those spenders’ loyalty, namely through technology.

PYMNTS recently reported that Pernod Ricard, the maker of spirits and alcohol, is launching “Discover the House,” an online platform targeted at high-net worth individuals. The exclusive online hub is part of the company’s efforts to expand its eCommerce business in the high-end luxury market.

As PYMNTS also reported, Burberry launched its Facebook Messenger chatbot, allowing consumers to watch its runway shows at London Fashion Week, browse images of the newly released apparel and even ask to interact with a human to make purchases.

Burberry and Pernod Ricard may indeed by onto something here, if not getting on the right fashion-forward tech initiatives.

Another report, the “Luxury Brands Online” trends report by PMX Agency, a digital marketing agency, studied more than 80 luxury apparel brands and took a look at the growth of the luxury retail market online and on mobile devices. The study found that social media remains a large driver for luxury brands online, accounting for 6.3 percent of all website traffic, led by Facebook at 3.4 percent, then YouTube at 1.1 percent. But over the past year, Instagram has also seen total followers of luxury brands double, with brands like Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Prada experiencing significant growth.

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