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British shoppers continue to aspire towards luxury

When Drapers launched its annual Luxury Report last year, the backdrop was less than perfect for a sector that, until then, had been pretty robust.

Burberry and Mulberry had issued profit warnings, LMVH reported a slowdown in third-quarter growth and China’s economic boom was also slowing. But the sentiment among the brands and retailers we surveyed as part of the report was overwhelmingly positive, with just a hint of caution. One year later, and the luxury sector appears characteristically stable once more, despite China’s economy still causing some concern.

This year, instead of an industry survey, we polled 2,000 luxury consumers to find what is driving shopping behaviour. The findings raised some interesting questions around provenance, with 60% saying where a product came from wasn’t important, while 58% also said they wouldn’t be put off buying a product that was made in China.

In fact the most important factor when it came to buying was fit, followed by quality.

When these findings were discussed in our luxury roundtable breakfast, the conclusion around these results was that consumers care about the story behind the brand, what it stands for, how it fits and the level of quality - rather than where it is manufactured. A strong brand and product, we decided, were key.

Luckily, unlike economic slowdowns, these are factors businesses like yours can control.

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