Milan hosted the 18th edition of the Altagamma Observatory, which presented data from the Altagamma 2019 Worldwide Market Monitor study, carried out by Bain & Company on the luxury market.
“Cultural and creative businesses have grown by 4%, and look well equipped to face the current global geopolitical challenges as well as the changes in the new consumers’ behavior,” stated Andrea Illy, chairing Altagamma. “More and more polarized between big groups and independent companies, the luxury market is even growing by double figures for those who are strengthening and expanding their dimension, and confirms a 20-year-long trend that has seen the personal luxury market value triple from 76 to 281 billion Euros. Digitalization, sustainability, talents, and a new sensibility for different cultures – both in terms of geography and age range – will be the new priorities.”
The market is resisting the economic uncertainties determined by the global situation and keeps growing, for an overall value of 1.268 billion Euros (+4%). The same growing trend has been registered for the personal luxury segment, whose value will reach 281 billion Euros this year and is expected to rise by 4.5% in 2020; growth perspectives by 2025 are confirmed at +3-5%.
The growth-driving forces in the industry are mostly China, both in terms of market (+30%) and customers’ nationality (35% of the total), despite a drop of about 2 billion Euros reported by Hong Kong against 2018; the young generations (Millennials and Gen Z have contributed for 100% to the market growth in 2019), mainly in China and Southeast Asia; and digitalization, with online channels being responsible for 22% of the overall sales.
In addition, the study remarked that so-called Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI) account for around 30% of the global market, and that in 2019, the largest growth concerned footwear and jewellery (+12%) as well as the second-hand market, risen to 26 billion Euros (+16%).
The Observatory also released data from Global Blueon Tax-Free Shopping, grown by 10% in the first 10 months of this year in Europe and by 16% in Italy. In the past six years, in our continent, Tax-Free Shopping was one of the major drivers both of the luxury and the tourism sectors, with a 5% growth.
For what concerns 2020 forecasts by Altagamma’s Consensus, the leather industry (+6%) and the beauty sector are expected to grow the most; footwear will mainly be driven by luxury shoes, and jewellery by Asian consumers. Among the customers’ nationalities that are expected to rise, the Chinese stand out (+10%), followed by customers from Asia Pacific, specifically South Korea, Indonesia and India. As to the channels, e-commerce is expected to expand by 13%, and physical retail, an increasingly key contact point for involving customers, by 4%.
Consumers are increasingly active: they interact, discuss, share, observe and judge the market and the brands. For this reason, it is all the more essential for luxury brands to prioritize consumers, stir emotions in them, focus on tangible social responsibility strategies, and be driven by creativity, not just in terms of production but in all its forms.