By  on December 14, 2009

Slammed by the global economic crisis, the high-flying luxury sector lostaltitude in 2009, shedding billions insales, forcing bankruptcy filings andlayoffs galore and ushering in a new set of rules with the word “value” inscribedat the top.

Roughly 14 billion euros, or $20.78 billion at current exchange rates, in luxury sales evaporated this year, according to Bain & Co. estimates, as high-end consumers kept their pocketbooks shut and the term “luxury shame” entered the popular lexicon. Any splurges likely took place at home in front of a computer — keeping online sales humming — or goods were toted home in plain brown bags.

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