Why Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada are in trouble
From an article by Sarah Halzack, published in the Washington Post, June 15, 2015. For the full read go to http://wapo.st/1FiQngA
OK, let’s not be quite so doom and gloom …but the writer makes a great observation: the interest in low-key, logo-free fashion is shared by a growing number of wealthy shoppers, who prefer to shell out for unique, hard-to-find pieces instead of highly recognizable items from big-name brands.
<<The shift is largely about adapting to a moment in high-end fashion when personal taste and individuality — not conformity — are the ultimate badges of cool. But experts say the penchant for more discreet luxury goods is also partly being fueled by the simmering political debate about income inequality, which is leaving some big spenders worried that it is tacky to carry a purse that practically announces its four-figure price tag. (…) Today’s luxury shopper has soured on such obvious signs of affluence, in particular the logo-emblazoned goods that these brands became known for as they aggressively opened stores in emerging markets and in smaller cities in the United States and Europe.
That has made for a tough lesson for many luxury retailers, which have effectively become too popular for their own good. Gucci’s sales slumped 1.1 percent in 2014, adjusting for currency fluctuations and other factors. Prada also saw its sales slide 1.5 percent last year and has said it will scale back store expansion plans. At LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the Paris-based luxury giant, sales growth has slowed in the once red-hot fashion and leather goods division anchored by Louis Vuitton. (…)>>
Don’t write off the big brands yet, though! A lot of them are old enough to know better than to fight a strong trend, so there are already signs of new life breeding from the old European branches: <<Against that backdrop, Louis Vuitton has added to its Rodeo Drive outpost a special oasis just for important clients — a rooftop area where guests can sun themselves and enjoy Champagne. Gucci has a similar space in Los Angeles, and Prada has one in Las Vegas. An experience, after all, is something you can’t put a label on.>>
What do you think? Are we on trend?