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UK luxury sector set to top £7.4bn in 2013

British luxury brands are optimistic about 2013, with new research predicting the sector will grow by 12% to £7.4bn in 2013.

The fourth report from non-for-profit body Walpole British Luxury and research firm Ledbury Research also found that while London will remain the most important hub for luxury brands, 81% now have a presence outside the capital with Manchester and Edinburgh considered particularly important cities.

Despite the continuing economic difficulties in Europe, 83% of British luxury brand are expecting to see a rise in sales this year.

Tourists remain the key market, particularly Americans and the Chinese, and luxury brands are targeting this group through specific initiatives such as foreign payment methods.

Further growth is expected to come through international openings, particularly in Brazil, India, Russia and China. At present of 13% of British luxury brands have a presence in Brazil, which is to host both the next World Cup and Olympics, but 52% plan to launch into the country.

South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia and Vietnam are the next countries on the wishlists of luxury brands.

Meanwhile, digital innovation is also a top priority with e-commerce and social media. Mobile commerce will also become increasingly important with nearly double the respondents involved in the study investing m-ecommerce this year compared to 2012.

Julia Carrick, chief executive of Walpole, said: “Despite the backdrop of the Eurozone crisis and a difficult economic environment, the UK luxury industry remains extremely robust and is forecast to grow significantly in size”.

Walpole represents the UK luxury industry and leading British Luxury brands including Burberry, Harrods and Jimmy Choo. 

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