Global luxury goods sales growth to stabilize in 2015: Bain

Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:04pm EDT
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By Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters) - Growth in the global luxury goods market will be steady next year at 2014 levels, or around 5 percent at constant exchange rates, with the whole of America and Japan the biggest drivers, consultancy Bain & Co said in a report published on Tuesday.

The personal luxury goods industry has been through a slowdown since 2011 in part due to flagging demand in China where the government has cracked down on gift-giving, and economic weakness in Europe.

Industry concerns have been compounded by conflicts in the Middle East, the Ukraine crisis hitting demand in Russia - the No.2 luxury goods buyer after the China - and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, where many luxury brands made more than 10 percent of their annual sales.

Bain predicted total revenue from the personal luxury goods industry - which includes watches, jewelry, clothes, shoes and leather goods - to reach 223 billion euros ($282.70 billion) in 2014 against 218 billion in 2013, when sales rose 7 percent at constant exchange rates.

"For next year, we expect growth similar to 2014," Claudia d'Arpizio, a partner at Bain and author of the study, said.

"The luxury goods market has entered a weaker growth cycle but it is more sustainable on the long term."

For the first time this year, Bain noted that luxury spending remained flat in mainland China at current exchange rates with sales up only 1 percent at constant exchange rates.

"For the past 18-24 months, the upper middle classes in China have become more sophisticated and many big brands opened many boutiques which contributed to putting people off," d'Arpizio said.   Continued...

A model presents a creation by French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere as part of his Spring/Summer 2015 women's ready-to-wear collection for fashion house Louis Vuitton during Paris Fashion Week October 1, 2014.    REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes