The Growth of Luxury Brands

Even with global market turmoil, luxury brands continue to grow in the hospitality sector with brands such as Armani and Bulgari to cite just two examples.

Reviewing luxury goods consumption in China during 2006, the data showed 12% of worldwide sales worth US $6 billion in a market amounting to some US $50 billion per year, according to Goldman Sachs.

The Chinese are extremely adept at high level "theatre" in their presentation and merchandising of luxury goods. So far, none of the indicators that I’ve seen show any sign of diminished sales except for the United States Department of Energy ban on the sale of luxury showers that use more than 9.5 Liters of water per minute. This ban took place in July of 2010.

At this time, the World Luxury Association (WLA) predicts that China will become the world’s largest consumer of luxury goods in 2012 with more than 29% of total sales. If things continue as predicted, China will overtake Japan. Currently, in the first five months of 2011, China’s share of the luxury goods market was 27 percent, according to the WLA.

I expect that we will continue to see globalization, consolidation, diversification, and much more theatre and drama in this market sector.

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