Archive

  • With the economy reeling from the oil-price crash and Western economic sanctions over Ukraine, the ruble has sunk precipitously, inflation is up sharply and real wages are shrinking for the first time in years, forcing Russians — even the wealthiest — to make do with less. Independent analysts present a dark picture, with only a halting recovery, if any, expected next year. Consequently, spending habits have changed. The luxury end of the market has suffered.

  • Diamond producer Rio Tinto launched its Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender for 2015 with an exclusive preview at the Sydney Opera House. Called the Connoisseur’s Collection, it features a collection of 65 vivid pink and red diamonds weighing a total of 44.14 carats. The stones including four fancy red diamonds.

  • Research by the Luxury Institute Sales finds that sales associates have a big impact on wealthy shoppers' jewelry-buying decisions. It also revealed that most wealthy consumers do not buy luxury goods following research, although there are exceptions, such as men shopping for watches and women buying beauty products.

  • Pre-owned luxury fashion and accessories eCommerce has proven to be far from threadbare. As the global luxury market cools, bracing itself for slower more sustainable growth, the luxury secondhand market is heating up, evidenced by the recent significant levels of venture capital investment in leading luxury pre-owned fashion consignment platforms. Valued at about $19 billion, the global luxury pre-owned fashion resale market lands not even remotely near a shabby chic classification.

  • Increasing numbers of wealthy American shoppers are plumping for low-key and logo-free items. They are looking for unique, hard-to-find items rather than highly recognizable handbags from big-name brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada. And the trend toward more discreet luxury goods is also partly a result of the political debate about income inequality which is persuading some big spenders that it is distasteful "to carry a purse that practically announces its four-figure price tag."

  • Companies from China and Hong Kong posted the fastest growth in luxury sales in 2013, according to the 2015 Global Powers of Luxury Goods report by global business consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd was among the top five biggest luxury brands in 2013, beating many European and US concerns.

  • Global Power of Luxury Goods 2015, the consulting firm's second annual such study, identifies the 100 largest luxury goods companies around the world, and finds that total net luxury goods sales of the top 100 firms stood at US$ 214.2 billion in 2013. This translates to an average of about $2.1 billion of luxury goods sales for these firms with composite year-on-year growth of 8.2% while composite net profit margin stood at 10.3% and composite return on assets stood at 8.6%.

  • The China crackdown shows what can occur suddenly to conspicuous consumption. Officials there no longer want to be seen wearing expensive watches or driving in flashy cars. A life of luxury will continue as usual in US and European enclaves such as Palm Beach and Monaco, but elsewhere the mood could swing.

    - John Gapper, Financial Times

  • Johann Rupert, the billionaire founder and chairman of luxury goods group Richemont, believes tension between the rich and poor is set to escalate as robots and artificial intelligence put people out of work and the rich become even more wealthy. “We cannot have 0.1 percent of 0.1 percent taking all the spoils,” said Rupert, who has a fortune worth $7.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s unfair and it is not sustainable.”

  • China, the world's second-largest diamond importer, has seen its annual economic growth rate fall to the lowest level seen for 25 years and is likely to fall further before turning around as a result of the government's liberalizing reforms. GDP growth fell to 7.4% last year, its weakest since 1990, and Beijing predicts around 7% growth in 2015, while the IMF recently predicted 6.8% growth this year, and 6.25% in 2016.

  • Wealthy Chinese who made their country into the world’s second-biggest market for diamonds are now increasingly traveling abroad to buy the stones, at a time when ostentatious purchases are frowned upon at home. That’s the view of Tiffany & Co., one of the biggest jewelry outlets, and De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer, which said sales of the stones have slowed in China. China has been the main engine of demand growth for the diamond industry, with sales expected to double in the next decade, according to Bain & Co., a private equity firm.

  • Currency fluctuations drove uneven growth in the luxury market in the first quarter of 2015, according to a new report by Bain and Fondazione Altagamma, dramatically affecting spending patterns and tourism. Most importantly, the report notes that a weak Euro boosted the luxury market by 12-13 percent, inflating what would otherwise be 2-3 percent growth at a constant exchange rate. Tourism was another major engine of growth that mostly benefitted Western Europe. The surge of the U.S.