Luxury brands and retailers have been told to capitalise on opportunities in emerging markets and focus on craftsmanship as the sector feels the impact of the recession.
Speaking at the Luxury Briefing conference held at the Mayfair Hotel in London last week, which was sponsored by property developer Grosvenor, Richard Wildman, retail managing partner at management consultancy Accenture, said emerging markets including China and India had driven the bulk of recent luxury sales.
“In the developed markets growth has either been flat or declined,” he said. “But growth in emerging markets could be as much as 40% by 2010.”
But luxury sector consultant Claire Kent warned that emerging markets were “not the saviour of the luxury industry”.
She said: “We need to redefine luxury based on craftsmanship, such as offering modern shoes using handmade methods.”