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And so luxury goes

In 2016, Chinese and American people were those who especially spent for high-end products. In general, there were 415 million consumers set within this range of products worldwide and they have spent 860 billion euro. However, there are just 17 million ‘True-Luxury’ consumers – the highest part of luxury’s pyramid – and, with an expense accounting for 250 million, they are responsible for 30% of total purchases. The data are provided by two studies carried out by Altagamma in cooperation with Boston Consulting Group and Exane Bnp Paribas.

Here are the main points of reflection offered by the two researches by Altagamma. In general, luxury market slows down (especially in the aspirational segment); the highest part of the pyramid however, driven by Chinese and Americans, shows a stable growth (+ 6.7%). All across the world, Italy is considered the first country for the quality of manufacturing of luxury personal properties (29% of preferences against 23% of France and 12% of USA). 50% of consumers (especially Millennials and American people) sense an increasing lack of equilibrium between the price and the value of products, due to prices’ increase, but also to quality’ decrease and loss of brand and products’ exclusiveness. The other side of the coin is the growing demand for products customerization: consumers are looking for exclusiveness, differentiation and more personal bond with products. The word of mouth is the first factor of influence when purchasing, especially thanks to social media, used by 72% of true-luxury consumers in order to dialogue with brands, with a very high attendance. As far as perspectives for retail’s strategies are concerned, luxury brands are strengthening their distribution networks, with very few new openings and an increasing integration between physical and digital retail: a process leading towards smaller shops with higher productivity. It foreshadows a trend of counter-standardization for retail formats, able to take into account the consumer’s profile fragmentation and the different needs and spending capacities.

Biella, 22nd March 2017

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