Archive

  • Jing Daily reports that Mainland China has taken over Hong Kong’s position as the largest export market for the Swiss watch industry. Hard luxury sales more than halved in the past 5 years, to US$2.5bn, from US$ 5.7bn. After a turbulent few years with typhoons, enduring political unrest and the pandemic restrictions imposed on travel, Chinese shoppers are moving away from shopping in Hong Kong and luxury brands have responded to that trend quickly by expanding their online and offline presence to mainland China, especially to the tax-free hub in Hainan.

  • Cartier recently shared China was the first market to offer the French luxury goods brand a robust rebound in sales since the pandemic broke out. The brand shared that e-commerce sales in China also saw a phenomenal rise since the outbreak, prompting the company to solidify its plans to raise investments in the country. The rebound and growth are attributed to the solid performance of pandemic-related travel restrictions, causing Chinese consumers to purchase luxury goods locally rather than abroad.

  • Swiss luxury group Richemont announced it had acquired Belgian leather goods label, Delvaux. The group didn’t disclose the terms of the transaction but shared the deal would have “no material financial impact” on the net of the firm’s assets or operating results. According to a Citigroup analyst, the estimated cost of the deal could be as much as 250 million euros ($296 million), adding the move was “consistent with Richemont’s desire to grow in the leather accessories segment.”

  • On April first, Tiffany & Co. had us all fooled by introducing their new house color #TiffanyYellow, which garnered nearly half a million likes on Instagram. But was it a prank? Or was it all part of LVMH's rebranding strategy? A mere month later, Tiffany opened a pop-up store in Beverly Hills with everything — from furniture down to the shopping bags — glazed in a lemon yellow.

  • A selection of De Beers signature high jewelry designs dazzle in the Disney film “Cruella". The film starring Emma Stone as young Cruella, an aspiring fashion designer, and Emma Thompson as Baroness Von Hellman, the villainous owner of a renowned but tired fashion label, is set against the backdrop of 1970s London. The new take on the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians follows the rebellious early days of one of cinema's most notoriously fashionable villains.

  • In 2020 close to 8 million luxury watches were listed on eBay, of which 200,000 were sold. As consumers expand their investment opportunities, platforms like eBay are trying to enhance the consumer experience by launching programs like the Authenticity Guarantee program; where each watch priced over US$2,000 is physically checked by an expert. As the company intends to expand its offerings, they have now introduced an escrow service for luxury watches to enhance consumer trust in high-end digital shopping.

  • LVMH, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, recorded revenue of 14 billion euros (US$16.7 billion) in the first quarter of 2021, up 32% compared to the same period in 2020. The quarter marks the return to growth after several quarters of decline during 2020, a year that was severely disrupted by the global pandemic.

  • The pandemic forced luxury goods companies to use social media, video, and virtual showrooms to woo customers in Europe and keep them shopping at a time when tourists, especially from China, have been absent for more than a year. Analysts believe the government-imposed lockdowns have left wealthy Europeans with money to spend, and designer brands are keen to capture some of that cash.

  • With Generation Z becoming adults and thus consumers, the sustainability decade is underway. It's widely known Gen Z is willing to reward brands that have a positive impact on the environment and society and disconnect from those that do the opposite. So luxury brands have to step up their game if they want to be agents of change when it comes to sustainability and they should act now. Bain & Company collaborated with sustainability specialist Positive Luxury to paint a picture of what a leading luxury brand might look like in 2030.

  • Luxury male accessories are traditionally tie clips, cufflinks and belt buckles, or for those with a more edgy look, gothic rings or rapper-inspired chains. But for China’s growing segment of young, fashion-fluent men, those style conventions are not enough. Although in the West Millennials and Gen Zers associate diamonds with a romantic notion such as a proposal or marriage, Chinese consumers do not. In China the cultural detachment allows more young men to buy diamonds as a fashion statement instead.

  • Consumers don’t like feeling rushed when making luxury purchases, and brands like Breitling have found a suitable solution. #BreitlingSelect allows subscribers to try up to three Breitling watches in a year from a dedicated portfolio of timepieces. Part of the offer is that the subscribers will then be able to purchase one of the three watches at a special price.

  • Although the pandemic has continued to dominate headlines, a year after the outbreak in the US and Europe, an Israeli study has underscored the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing infection. This, along with news of the Biden administration accelerating the vaccine rollout in the US, and the UK’s successful vaccination program, has given consumers hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • French luxury group Kering, the parent company of Boucheron and Pomellato, has purchased a 5% stake in Vestiaire Collective, a pre-owned luxury e-commerce platform. With this latest move, the company is betting on the booming resale market to help woo younger and more environmentally conscious shoppers.

    The investment is part of a 215m USD financing round announced on Monday which valued Vestiaire Collective at more than 1bn USD, the company said. Existing shareholders include Conde Nast and the French private equity firm Eurazeo.

  • The New York Times writes about how luxury brands who are not typically identified with the high jewelry category are drawn to big and exclusive diamonds, as a path to be part of what is considered a growth segment. LVMH's Louis Vuitton, partnering with high-end miner Lucara and Belgium-based manufacturer HB Antwerp, the newspaper reports, aims to continue its legacy of creating bespoke pieces, with the 1,758ct enigmatic Sewelô, and the 549ct clear white Sethunya.

  • According to Jing Daily, China is ready for lavish Chinese New Year Celebrations, after last year's festivities were cut short by the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic, luxury brands are eager to take full advantage of the upbeat sentiment and expectations for strong sales of luxury items are high. The threat of a new wave of the pandemic hitting mainland China however remains.

  • Bloomberg reports that in a response to France's plans to start taxing US-based tech companies, which were the result of failed EU-US negotations a month ago when the US representative walked out, the US is now planning to impose a 25% tax on luxury (especially handbags) and beauty products imported from France. The total value of the goods listed by the US Trade Representative's website, Bloomberg reports, amounts to roughly 1.3 billion US$.

  • Beleaguered by the unprecendented challenges now dragging on for nearly a year, luxury brands have started throwing in the proverbial towel on their Russel Street shops in Hong Kong’s bustling Causeway Bay, considered the world’s most expensive shopping street. "Already struggling for survival after months of civil unrest crippled Hong Kong’s economy," writes Pearl Liu for the South China Morning Post, "the final blow for many came this year with the coronavirus pandemic, which killed off any remaining consumer sentiment."

  • Consumers across Asia are rushing to luxury stores to buy luxury items before an expected price hike. After Louis Vuitton raised prices last week - the third price hike in 2020, many consumers expect other brands like Chanel, Dior and Gucci will follow suit. Higher prices are one strategy to make up for losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Jing Daily reports. 

    Across Asia, thanks to pent-up demand and the inability for shoppers to travel and buy luxury goods abroad, the luxury market has seen growing in-store traffic and sales. 

  • Daniel Langer, consultant for some of the world's leading luxury brands, in an article in Jing Daily says that despite our intuition - people spend and will spend less on luxury in and after a crisis - the luxury segment is more resilient than others.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton recorded revenue of 10.6 billion euros (11.5 billion dollars) for the first quarter of 2020, down 15 percent compared to the same period in 2019 and down 17 percent on an organic basis. The group says that with these results, LVMH "has proven its ability to be resilient in an economic environment disrupted by a serious health crisis that has led to the closure of stores and manufacturing sites in most countries in recent weeks, as well as the suspension of international travel."

  • Five major watch brands, Rolex, Patek Phiippe, Tudor, Chanel and Chopard today announced they will be leaving BaselWorld. The exit follows a letter by Rolex topman Hubert du Plessix pleading for a refund for the brands set to participate in the canceled 2020 edition. In a joint statement, the brands announced they plan to start a new show, which remains unnamed, scheduled for April 2021, in conjunction with the organizers of Watches & Wonders (FHH). 

  • The Hermès flagship store in Guangzhou reportedly made $2.7 million on its reopening day, boosting hopes on increased consumers' luxury shopping once quarantine measures are lifted. Many hope that the so-called "revenge spending", with people purchasing luxury goods to treat themselves after being in isolation for weeks, signals the recovery of luxury spending, although some fear it could be no more but a "one-off" shopping spree.

  • According to Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” the world’s largest luxury watch and jewelry show, Baselworld, is in danger of becoming extinct. The newspaper cites from a leaked letter from angry exhibitors, who are threatening to turn their backs on the fair for good, if they aren’t reimbursed fully for costs already made for this year’s – canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – edition. According to the article, the exhibitors were offered a financial agreement which they believe is inadequate and they demand a full refund.

  • In their latest report Bain & C° takes a deeper look into the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the luxury segment. A few key take-aways;

     

  • Tiffany & Co. shareholders voted in favor of the jeweler’s acquisition by LVMH during a meeting held on February 4 at its Fifth Avenue headquarters, the companies announced in separate press releases. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods company, announced on November 25, 2019 that it had reached an agreement to buy the jeweler Tiffany & Company in a $16.2 billion deal, the largest ever in the luxury sector. According to the agreement, LVMH will acquire Tiffany, the global luxury jeweler, for $135 per share in cash.

  • Swiss luxury jeweler de Grisogono, whose long-alleged history of shady deals with Angola was recently exposed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and 36 media partners, has filed for bankruptcy in Geneva, according to multiple news outlets. The jeweler is owned in part by the husband of Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who is facing allegations of having pilfered Angolan state-owned companies. The company owes more than 1.4 million francs to its Swiss suppliers and is facing insolvency.

  • Richemont Group's sales in Q3 (the three month period ended 31 December 2019) increased by 4%, with growth in all regions except Japan, the luxury goods group announced last week. The Jewellery Maisons division recorded a 6% increase year-over-year at constant exchange rates versus the prior period and 9% at actual exchange rates. Sales in Europe during the period grew by 9% to €1.26 billion ($1.40 billion) benefiting from favourable comparative numbers and strong sales in most markets. European sales for the nine months of the fiscal year have risen 8% to €3.5 billion ($3.9).

  • Lucara, the Canadian mining company that owns the Karowé mine in Botswana announced they will be collaborating with luxury brand Louis Vuitton and an Antwerp-based high-end polishing company (HB) to polish the largest rough diamond ever found in Botswana, the 1758ct Sewelô diamond recovered in April last year. In the arrangement, the stone - qualified as near-gem, variable quality, will be polished into a collection of diamonds, and apart from an up front non-material payment, Lucara will retain a 50% interest in the polished results.

  • Tiffany & Co. has asked luxury conglomerate LVMH to raise its $14.5 billion acquisition offer, arguing that it significantly undervalues the U.S. jewelry chain, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. Last week, it became known that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is seeking to add the iconic U.S. jeweler to its portfolio of upscale brands.

  • Tiffany & Co. has received a takeover approach from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is seeking to add the iconic U.S. jeweler to its portfolio of upscale brands. The French company sent Tiffany officials a letter in the past couple of weeks outlining an all-cash takeover bid of about $120 a share, according to people familiar with the matter. That would value Tiffany at close to $14.5 billion, and represents a 22% premium over the stock’s closing price on Friday, according to the Financial Times.

  • Last week, Tiffany & Co. found itself at the center of a social media firestorm after posting an image on Twitter of a woman covering one eye with her hand, leading to accusations that the jeweller supports the Hong Kong protesters and prompting Tiffany's to remove the post. Angry Chinese consumers believed it deliberately evoked a symbolic pose adopted by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators after a woman was shot in the eye with what protesters say was a police beanbag round during violent clashes with police. Her image later popped up in many posters and memes.

  • The impact from the Hong Kong protests is spreading to global luxury retailers, with jewelry - including Swiss watches - taking a hit as shoppers and big-spending travelers stay away. Unrest has forced many stores to close and sparked widespread social disruption. Luxury brand Richemont - which owns several of the world's leading luxury goods companies including Cartier, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels and Jaeger-LeCoultre - is the latest firm to say its business is being impacted by the ongoing protests.

  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of €46.8 billion in 2018, an increase of 10% over the previous year. LVMH's results have upset prevailing wisdom about the health of China’s shoppers with its latest results. The luxury bellwether, which owns some of the world’s most valuable brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy, said Tuesday that demand from Chinese consumers strengthened in the three months through December, defying analysts' expectations for a decline in luxury spending.

  • Brands need to be concerned about over-sentimentalizing peoples’ relationships with diamonds as a representation of love. The American middle class is much weaker today than it was when De Beers came out with their famous ‘Diamonds are forever’ campaign. And with diminished purchasing power, consumers are more willing to look into alternative choices for rings, making lab-grown diamonds and gemstones more attractive.

  • Farfetch (FTCH), the London-based luxury fashion e-tailer, has just pulled off one of the largest IPOs of the year.

  • Swiss watch exports saw their strongest growth in more than five years during 2017, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. with Hong Kong and mainland China representing the top two markets for Swiss watches. This trend continued to start off 2018, as January sales in Hong Kong rose 21.3 percent to grab a 15 percent of the market, while sales in mainland China surged by 44.3 percent to reach 10.9 percent of the market, overtaking the US. 

  • Richemont, the second largest luxury goods company in the world, announced sales had jumped during the April-to-August period as a result of Asia's strong performance.

  • Costco owes Tiffany & Co. more than $19 million for selling 2,500 generic diamond rings falsely identified as "Tiffany" rings, a federal judge ruled Monday. Judge Swan ruled in favor of Tiffany, saying the brand was entitled to $11.1 million as profits for trademark infringement, plus interest, as well as an additional $8.25 million in punitive damages, which had been awarded by a jury in October. Costco was also permanently prohibited from using “Tiffany” as a stand-alone term when selling its products.

  • Following up on their successful 2015 short film "The Proposal", Cartier has launched two new videos on social media: "The Proposal: Jump Right In" and "The Proposal: My Favorite Song", both of which explicitly target the millennial generation of consumers. 

  • Luxury houses such as Cartier, Piaget and Chanel have launched collections on Net-a-Porter and are doing well, despite critics of the format. Cartier made a relatively risky move by placing Panthère de Cartier, a white gold diamond watch retailing for US$77,000 (HK$600,000) on the online platform Net-a-Porter. Within two weeks of the collection’s launch, the watch was sold. Of course some ‘purists’ believe that luxury products must be felt to create an emotional engagement, which is hard to replicate online.