In 2016, the global market for personal luxury goods – which includes apparel, shoes and other accessories, jewelry, watches and cosmetics - will close at €249 billion, down by one percent at constant exchange rates as compared to 2015.
China has re-emerged after three years of stagnation, but the decline in the U.S. has been getting stronger, dragging down global results. The overall luxury market will post a better performance though, with growth of 4 percent to €1.081 billion. This expanded market also includes such categories as deluxe cars, private jets, art and other niche products.
These are some of the top-line findings from the 15th edition of the “Bain & Company Luxury Study” released in collaboration with Fondazione Altagamma, the Italian industry foundation of luxury goods manufacturers.
On the other hand, the financial reports issued by several luxury goods groups for the three-month period ended on Sept. 30, including those covered in this issue, indicate a higher-than-expected spurt in Chinese demand, which accounts for more than one-third of the global luxury goods market.
One of the reasons may be the fact that Chinese consumption was affected one year ago by the crash of the Shanghai stock market and the devaluation of the yuan. Furthermore, the Chinese government has taken several measures to stimulate domestic consumption of all kinds of products.
Since the beginning of this year, LVMH and Kering have seen their stockmarket price jump by about 14 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
According to the Bain study, luxury consumers are redirecting their spending toward new high-end experiences such as food and wine, luxury travel and fine art. Still, the personal luxury goods market is holding steady amids major political and economic developments such as Brexit, the U.S. presidential election and terrorism across Europe, which have all impacted consumer confidence and tourist flows during the year.
In Europe, luxury spending among tourists has declined but local spending has rebounded, with a one percent increase at constant exchange rates that has rescued performance across the continent. France and Germany have been negatively affected by terrorism while Northern Europe and Spain, where the perceived threat risk is lower, are performing better. The U.K. has emerged a bright spot in a rather depressed European market thanks to the depreciation of the pound, which has driven growth in tourists' shopping in the country.
In Mainland China, local spending has risen thanks to a growing middle class, but this growth has not offset the decline in purchases among Chinese tourists, especially in Europe. For the first time ever, Chinese consumers have decreased their contribution to the total luxury market, down from 31 percent in 2015 to 30 percent in 2016. In the rest of Asia, Hong Kong and Macau have continued to decline, down by 15 percent at constant exchange rates, although Southeast Asia has recorded a 3 percent increase at constant currencies.
In the Americas, down by 2 percent at constant exchange rates, the U.S. luxury goods market is going through a rough patch as luxury brands continue to struggle due to the decline of tourism, as a result of a strong dollar and weak local spending. In Canada, luxury spending has remained stable. In Latin America, Mexico is maintaining last year's positive trend.
Among the other findings of the recent study, e-commerce has emerged as the leading shopping channel in terms of growth, reaching 7 percent penetration in 2016. E-commerce has grown as a crucial driver of the global luxury market and is now the third-largest luxury “market” globally after the U.S. and Japan.
Looking ahead, the authors of the study at Bain & Co. expect the personal luxury market to reach €280-285 billion by 2020, with revenues growing by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of between 3 and 4 percent, beginning in 2017.