A steady pace of store openings in second-tier cities in the U.S. interior has fueled sales growth in the U.S. In a twist, an additional factor driving the growth in the Americas is luxury spending by the increasing number of Chinese now visiting in western cities in the U.S. such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles; this according to the 2013 Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, presented in collaboration in Milan with Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods manufacturers industry foundation.
Overall worldwide, luxury goods spending will grow by two percent to €217 billion at current exchange rates over 2013, as challenging economics in Europe continue and as China shifts from market expansion to network maintenance of major luxury brands which entered China over the past several years.
However, it is important to note that the growth figure masks a significant impact from exchange rates. At constant exchange rates, market growth would have reached six percent for the year, compared to five percent in 2012. The devaluation of the yen is responsible for over half of this year’s gap.
“The hypergrowth of recent years was destined to moderate,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner in Milan and lead author of the study. “The silver lining for luxury brands is that they can now change their focus from keeping up with the present to planning for the future.”
Beyond the Americas, the study also surfaces significant regional differences in the luxury market:
-Europe will see two percent growth, with increasing spending by tourists counteracting slower spending by European nationals. Tourist spending now drives half of revenues in Italy, 55 percent of revenues in the U.K., and 60 percent of revenues in France
-Japan will experience a 12 percent decline. Although in real terms, Japanese consumption increased by nine percent after a long period of stagnation, the sharp depreciation of the yen imposed a steep penalty on the final revenues for luxury brands, even while consumers are responding well to brands’ offerings
-Greater China’s growth of four percent includes a split in performance between the Mainland, which will grow at 2.5 percent, and Hong Kong and Macau, which increasingly capture Chinese spending as the nearest-to-home touristic markets. Overall, Chinese consumers have increased from 25 percent to nearly 30 percent of the luxury market, including local luxury consumption, and purchases made by tourists abroad
-Southeast Asia has become the rising star of the Asia Pacific region, with growth of 11 percent, not only in its historic core of Singapore but in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well
-The Middle East remains relatively strong, with five percent growth. Sales remain strong in Dubai as well, while Saudi Arabia is also gaining share to become the region’s second largest luxury market
-Africa is increasingly demonstrating its attractiveness as a high-potential region, with 11 percent growth and expansion into new markets such as Angola and Nigeria beyond its traditional strongholds of Morocco and South Africa
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