Global Luxury Goods Overview

March 2017

Luxury goods has entered a new phase, where conspicuous consumption is giving way to more meaningful luxury experiences. As consumers reassess their priorities, asking themselves what they truly value, a host of major trends have emerged: from the preference given to luxury experiences over “things”, to sustainable luxury. This report features key insights and the latest trends in luxury goods around the globe in 2016, including the growth of global wealth and its impact on the wider industry.

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Resilient global growth despite economic headwinds

Luxury goods globally delivered another year of moderate growth in 2016, increasing by 3%, despite weakness in key markets such as China, Russia and Brazil.

US remains the leading market

The US continues to provide robust growth, benefiting from solid post-recession recovery. The slowdown in sales of luxury goods in China is expected to enable the US to remain the world leader though to 2018, highlighting its strategic importance within the global industry.

Luxury redefined

Luxury goods has entered a new phase, in which conspicuous consumption is giving way to more meaningful and authentic luxury experiences. As consumers reassess their priorities and increasingly ask themselves what they truly value, a host of major trends have emerged, including preference being given to luxury experiences over possessions.

New cornerstone of the industry

“New luxury” has been defined as products and services that possess higher levels of quality, taste and aspiration than other goods in the category. The traditional product/service value proposition is no longer adequate for reaching consumers or creating significant differentiation.

Conscious consumption

Changing consumer attitudes towards “sustainable luxury” are opening up a range of growth opportunities. A host of technological, environmental and economic changes are driving demand for more conscious consumption of luxury goods.

Digital innovations continue to change the way luxury consumers engage with brands

Omnichannel strategies are becoming increasingly important, as luxury retailers need to adapt to a new generation of hyperconnected luxury shoppers. Retailers are also seeking ways to integrate existing technology creatively into their bricks-and-mortar stores, connecting them with their online businesses.


Key findings

Luxury Goods Industry Overview

Industry remains hard-nosed amidst global uncertainty
Sales in excess of USD388 billion, despite economic headwinds

Regional And Country Mix

Swings and roundabouts for regional performances
Developed countries comprise the leading absolute growth markets
Tricky terrain to navigate ahead for luxury brands
A game of musical chairs for the leading luxury goods markets
India is the “true star” of Asia, bucking BRIC market trends
China’s loss is the US’s gain, as it retains its leading position
However, change at the top as China is set to edge ahead of the US
Fast fashion steps on Hong Kong’s luxury shoes
Mexico’s luxury performance weighs heavily on the US economy

Category Highlights

Luxury alcohol the fastest growing alternative asset for investors
China dominates fine wines/champagne and spirits
Luxury wearables throws down the gauntlet
Designer clothing and footwear: Accessible price points drive sales
Luxury “streetwear” gives designer footwear a step-up in growth
Growth in luxury timepieces in freefall
Traditional luxury watches has an uncertain outlook as headwinds strengthen
Luxury goods heavyweights join the luxury experiences trend
Millennials drive luxury wellbeing
High-end personalisation: Luxury wellness to suit you

Industry Drivers

Household wealth changes attitudes and purchasing habits
Quality and craftsmanship to feed consumer loyalty
The growing financial muscle of the world’s super-rich, led by the US
Half global wealth in top 10 wealthiest markets (1)
Half global wealth in top 10 wealthiest markets (2)
Millennials and Gen Z will control 47% of gross income by 2025
India to see the biggest increase in wealthy classes
Global wealth to underwrite luxury lifestyle trends
Fashion houses dine-out on our love of eating
Developed markets compete for share of wallet from wealthy tourists
Wealthy tourists remain lucrative despite shifts in travel flows


Luxury specialist retailers continue to dominate distribution
Luxury department stores throw down the gauntlet with gym pop-ups
Leading retailers offer more muscle for the luxury “wellness” trend
The digital surge and innovation
Market drivers in global digital luxury sales
Innovative digital retailing concepts driven by convenience
Innovative digital retailing concepts driven by experience
India has huge digital potential
Meet the interconnected luxury consumers of today…
…and of tomorrow
The most populous cohorts across the globe
The UK leads the digital consumer index, but the US will do better
The four expected leaders in the forecast Digital Consumer Index

Report Definitions

Report definition and abbreviations


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