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Emerging markets saviors for luxury home textile makers
15
Oct '12
Four BRIC countries (India, China, Brazil and Russia) and a few other Latin American countries like Mexico have proved to be the ‘Knight in Shining Armour’ for embattled luxury home textile producers and brands across the world following the slowdown in consumer spending in developed economies.

Badly hit by the economic crisis of 2008, followed by the European debt crisis, consumers in the developed countries tightened their spending, while wealthy and affluent consumers in emerging countries are demanding more and more best and luxurious quality products, which also includes home furnishings. 

China is leading the way in sales of luxurious home textiles among emerging countries, since it has emerged as the second biggest market for luxury goods, second only to Japan, led by a real estate boom and a growing affluent middle class which aspires to raise and improve living standards.

China is the second-largest single country market after the US for Swarovski, the iconic Austria based crystal ware brand. Its crystals are now embellished in a wide range of home furnishing products. It is also now marketing, a new wallpaper embellished with its famed crystals. The company expects China to become its single largest market by 2015.

“Swarovski does not directly play an active role in the home textile market but instead engages in projects/incentives with major players of this industry”, Mr Flemming Nielson, Vice President Operations, Asia South, Swarovski Elements said.

He adds, “Via those collaborations we have observed that textures and embellishments have become increasingly refined in recent years. Surface embellishment has become even more important and Swarovski Elements is a product that adds an interesting and glamorous finishing touch to home textiles”.

Scotland is one more textile producer renowned for its high quality and luxurious range of niche products like cashmere, lace and merino wool fabrics. Customers of luxury products are taking a renewed interest in European-made products which is defined by them as ultimate luxury with considerable provenance.

The growing market for luxury interior textiles has encouraged Scottish mills to consider new routes to market. Scottish luxury home textiles producing companies are now targeting markets like Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE, mainly due to their high level spending on doing up interiors.  

Scottish mills produce stunning leather, upholstery fabrics, print, lace, tweeds and why to forget the iconic tartans. Despite the size of the interiors market, Scotland is working with many of the biggest and most influential names in the design industry by producing high-margin, highly technical fabrics and leathers designed to a specific brief.

“Emerging markets have equally aspirational designers as designers in Europe, who want the same services their European counterparts receive. Our strategy in Scotland is to broadcast our capabilities to new customers and highlight the variety and quality of product available to them” informs Mr Stewart Roxburgh a senior executive in the textile division at Scottish Enterprise.  

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