Luxury Brands are Selling Better this Year

It’s not Diwali yet but Luxury brands are celebrating. Last year, the economy had just hit the recovery mode and the one before that witnessed the global slowdown, which meant two dull festival seasons in a row. But this year with the economy back on track luxury retailers are seeing cash registers, ring like never before.

We expect Deepavali to be a fantastic season for us. We’re looking for at least 20% rise in sales.

Luxury shopping destination like DLF Emporio in Delhi and UB city mall in Bangalore are a buzz with activity. Unlike their international stores, where new collections are released near Christmas brands are launching new collections in India to cash in on the festive spirit.

Canali which launched the Nawab Collection a couple of seasons ago, has added the Blue Nawab collection Jimmy Choo has introduced jeweled bags and Bottega Veneta has launched new home accessories and desk sets. The season also happens to be wedding season, which only adds to the shopping fervor in the luxury segment.

The wedding season contributes greatly to our revenues. And that’s the reason why sales never dipped dramatically during the slow down. This year with the good monsoon, the rising sensex and the bright job market sales will only increase.

Raymond Weil and Seiko recently opened their exclusive boutiques in Chennai’s Express Avenue mall and the timing is well planned. While we grew 42% in 2009-10 in India, we have grown by 84% in the period of April to September. This season things will only get better

The foundation of luxury is customer service that is what we are hearing. The designer’s growing chain of fashion houses we will see because of the economic crisis is that you lose a certain amount of that aspiration customer. Somebody who will buy a couple pairs of shoes over the course of the year is making other choices. The core for a luxury brand is a customer with very considerable wealth.

The issue of who will remain wealthy over the next two years, and how they might spend their disposable cash, was very much on the minds of the panelists, including top marketers with experience at some of the most storied names in luxury items and apparel — from Gucci and Prada to Tom Ford and L’Oréal.

In a recession in which even upscale consumers may find themselves strapped for disposable cash, it is a bad strategy to chase customers too far down the economic ladder.

Marketers do not want to see huge price cuts that will create a lower-priced brand. That’s because they do not want to tarnish their brand. When this is all said and done, you still have your brand reputation to uphold. Indeed, the deepening economic slowdown was such a hot topic for these luxury marketers. Targeting the new Luxury Consumer in a flat world identifying opportunities for growth in a Global Luxury Market.

And although luxury buying largely comprises personal gifts, corporate gifts are also on the rise. Last year the sentiment was low and corporates hardly shopped for gifts this year however we are getting many inquiries for gifts from our luxury brands.