PARIS — The top 25 cities in the world account for nearly 60 percent of luxury demand. And with Paris near the top of the pyramid, that’s worrisome for certain players.
“Recent events in Paris are a clear negative for luxury goods and reinforce our prudent stance on the sector,” Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca notes in a research report released Wednesday.
It found that Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels each have four percent of their points of sale in the French capital, much higher than Louis Vuitton at 1.5 percent and Hermès at 1 percent, making the jewelers more exposed to a downturn in tourism in the wake of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead and hundreds injured.
Flight bookings to Paris for the holiday period were down 3 percent before the attacks, and are now down 13 percent, according to the Paris tourist and convention office.
Releasing data tracking the impact in the first 10 days after the events, the tourism office said the hotel occupancy rate dropped 16 points on Nov. 22 and 23, versus a drop of 23.1 and 26.3 points on Nov. 15 and 16 respectively.
While the sector in Paris was impacted more strongly by this month’s events than the deadly January attacks on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, “a turnaround seems to be shaping up,” the tourist office said.
It estimated tourism activity in the French capital after the January incident returned to its ex-ante level within four months.
“Each attack has its specificities,” commented Charles-Henri Boisseau, a statistical research analyst. “Overall we estimate a return of the activity within six to nine months, with the return following the 9/11 attacks taking longer. We remain very cautious [with estimates].”
On Wednesday, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron visited Paris’ Les Quatre Temps’ shopping mall, which had been cited as a potential target of terrorists. Macron said his visit was meant “to continue to support economic activities” and “reassure people.
“Security measures have been taken around shopping malls,” he reported, adding “security staffing has been doubled, even tripled” in addition to a “massive video surveillance system.”
Solca’s report ranks Paris as “one of the most important cities for luxury goods in the world.”
The French capital houses 474 such points of sale “and a higher percentage of larger street-level stores than other cities. Altagamma positioned Paris at number two behind New York in total sales terms,” the report says.
Only Seoul has more points of sale than Paris at 508, compared to 457 for Tokyo, 392 for Hong Kong and 361 for London.
Scouring its database of 25,000 addresses and 100 brands, the investment bank estimated that Burberry and Italian luxury brands, with the exception of Moncler, are underexposed in the French capital.
According to the tabulations, the 10 brands most exposed to Paris via store networks are Patek Philippe, Isabel Marant, The Kooples, Lancel, Church’s, Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro, Gerard Darel, Givenchy and Kenzo.
The report considered stand-alone stores, shops-in-shop, mall locations, airport boutiques and factory outlets, and weighted them by retail format to crown Paris the leader, followed by London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York.