Saturation hits luxury retail, but new trends provide hope

04 Nov '15
3 min read

The Asia Pacific region is experiencing a slowdown in the luxury retail sector, but new emerging trends are set to provide the retail sector with a solid new stimulus for demand in the coming years, according to the CBRE's special report, 'The Future of Luxury Retail in Asia Pacific: New Demand Drivers and Shifting Occupier Requirements'.

Most major luxury retailers are now well established in Asia Pacific with China and Hong Kong being two of the most penetrated markets at 89 per cent and 81 per cent, respectively. However, following several years of rapid expansion, these markets are approaching saturation point.

“Accounting for one-third of personal luxury goods sales globally in 2014, Asia Pacific is a key region for international luxury brands with key markets including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. However, the high growth period for luxury retailers in the region is gradually coming to an end,” said Dr Henry Chin, Head of Research, CBRE Asia Pacific.

”Over-saturation, surging operational costs and weaker retail sales - especially in Hong Kong due to the slowing mainland China economy - have prompted retailers to consolidate their existing store networks and slow their rate of entry into new markets focusing on operational efficiency,” said Dr Chin.

CBRE has identified three emerging trends which will partially offset some of the negative effects arising from the slowdown and compensate for the loss of demand: Emergence of Affordable Luxury, Inclusion of F&B and Growth of Luxury Childrenswear.

“With the momentum behind these trends, this will account for a bigger slice of leasing demand for prime retail space,” says Joel Stephen, Senior Director, Head of Retailer Representation, CBRE Asia. “Retailers and landlords can benefit from the projected growth in these market segments,” he adds.

Emerging retail trends are already impacting luxury retailers' real estate requirements, resulting in new, and in some cases, weaker demand for different types of retail property, the report said.

Some of the key trends that CBRE have identified include weaker interest in department stores despite continued interest in prime locations; stronger focus on flagship stores; increased popularity in short-term opportunities for brands to set up exhibitions, pop-up and concept stores, and workshops, to generate greater consumer awareness; affordable luxury brands continuing to drive demand; and more interest in upper floor retail space, but limited to top-tier malls and driven by F&B and childrenswear segments. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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