LONDON — The Ukrainian crisis will result in “only a short-term drop” in luxury spending in London and will have little impact on prime residential property, according to a note by Ledbury Research.
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Ledbury, a London-based agency that analyzes the luxury market, said Crimea is likely to have a short-term impact on wealth and luxury, particularly in London, which has become a key destination for Russian wealth and spending.
“We expect the situation in Crimea and the Ukraine to have two effects: Firstly, luxury sales in London will fall — in the short term at least. Indeed, expenditure by Russians in the U.K. was already down by 17 percent in March,” said the report, citing Global Blue statistics.
Ledbury said the March decline was “probably largely driven by a dive in the value of the ruble, rather than antipathy towards the U.K. and the West,” as individuals with anti-Western views are much less likely to have traveled to London.
“That said, those with more neutral views may have been discouraged from visiting at a time when broader Russian national sentiment is less positive to the U.K.,” the Ledbury report said.
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Ledbury added that Russians are “unlikely to lose their love of luxury brands, and will buy domestically instead.”
As reported, Luca Solca, managing director, luxury goods, at Exane BNP Paribas, said that according to an analysis of the Russian domestic market he carried out last year, there were 34 soft and hard luxury brands with a total of 121 monobrand stores in Russia. That represented less than 2 percent of the brands’ overall monobrand presence worldwide.
Among the hard luxury brands he found to be most exposed in the Russian domestic market were Lancel, Tiffany, Swatch, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci, Stefano Ricci, Loro Piana and Kiton.
Regarding London’s property market, Ledbury said it does not necessarily expect a negative impact on high-end London property, nor does it anticipate existing Russian owners of prime property in London to want or need to sell in a hurry.
“Many have come to the U.K. to educate their children, for the broader quality of life and for the long-term investment potential of London property,” Ledbury said.