Global luxury goods sales are expected to continue to grow in 2017, according to Euromonitor International — but the firm said the pace of that growth will slow – except in Asia as that region rebounds from a slowdown in China. Moreover, China is pegged to overtake the U.S. as the top luxury market, the firm predicted.
Since 2011, the compounded annual growth rate of the market (which includes designer apparel, leather goods and other accessories) is pegged to show a 3 percent gain this year rising to $388 billion, according to the firm. But due to several geopolitical factors, that growth rate will decelerate. Still, Euromonitor sees some bright spots.
“Whilst 2017 will not be a stellar year for the global industry overall, we will see some tailwinds, with markets such as India and Mexico in a much stronger position,” researchers at the firm noted. “At the same time, luxury brands and retailers continue to seek ways to harness social media and tap into the psyche of the digital consumer, as connectivity continues to drive new opportunities in digital innovation and growth in the omnichannel continues to reach new frontiers.”
Euromonitor said for the coming year, “divergence remains a key theme across the luxury markets.” The researchers said the Asia-Pacific market will experience 5 percent growth, “a marked difference to 2015, with a regional growth of just 1 percent, reflecting the significant economic slowdown in China.”
The firm said this year, Western Europe and North America “were significantly weaker, with both regions showing a slight downturn in 2016 with a weak euro zone continuing to hold back regional performance and the added concerns over terrorist attacks, as well as the more recent Brexit vote, have also dampened sales.”
With China, the luxury market has reversed course this year. “China finally saw its luxury goods sales return to positive growth following three consecutive years of negative growth on the back of a slowing economy, the government clampdown on luxury gifting and currency headwinds,” the research firm said, adding that by the close of the current year luxury goods sales in China are “expected to reach a total value of $76 billion, making it the second-largest market behind the U.S.”
And in a bold prediction, Euromonitor said over the next five years, “the U.S. is predicted to lose its top spot in the ranking to China.” Currently, the U.S. garners 21 percent of total luxury goods sales.
Euromonitor researchers said in their report that “social and political unrest in Asia-Pacific, economic slowdown in Latin America and conflict in Eastern Europe will conspire to restrain growth in both key emerging and developed markets.”
Meanwhile, online sales of luxury goods continue to “boom across all regions, and are widely seen as the industry’s key battleground of the next five years.” Euromonitor said digital sales of luxury goods is expected to show a 9 percent gain this year, which reflects a 77 percent compounded annual growth rate since 2011.