Luxury market performance during a global economic downturn: is this time different?
The luxury market is unique, mainly due to the fact that its products are consumed for social distinction. This has helped companies in the segment to outperform other sector-segments over the past years. Nevertheless, the luxury market is facing important challenges, notably regarding counterfeit products, a risk for companies, and e-commerce, which is disrupting how business is conducted. In addition, the market is not immune to challenging economic conditions. Global economic activity is currently experiencing a slowdown: Coface forecasts a global GDP growth rate of 2.9% in 2019 after 3.2% in 2018, and this will have an impact on some luxury products. Looking ahead, the rise of emerging markets’ middle classes – especially in China – presents great opportunities. Despite the global economic slowdown, we are therefore expecting the luxury retail market overall to be resilient, notably benefiting from the rise of Chinese consumers’ appetite for luxury.