The changing face of luxury retail in Asia

Foto: Ravi Thakran

Ravi Thakran, Chairman of LVMH South, South East Asia and Middle East; © i2i Events Group

The changing landscape of luxury retail industry in Asia emerged as one of the key topics of discussion at the 5th annual Retail Congress Asia Pacific.

Ravi Thakran, Chairman of LVMH South, South East Asia and Middle East, commented: “Travel has been a big factor in equalising prices for luxury brands in this region. It has also been instrumental in the rising popularity of affordable luxury which is set to become more successful with the increasing rise of the middle classes in this part of the world.”

Mr Thakran said that brands including Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Charles & Keith already have a strong presence in Asia, and that they are set to expand further in the region as the demand for affordable luxury from the fast growing middle classes in Asia continues to grow. According to Reuters, the number of middle class consumers in Asia will double over the next 15 years, with Asia hosting 64% of the global middle classes by 2030.

Amrita Banta, Managing Director at Affluential PTE Ltd, also commented that the new luxury consumer is now younger, better travelled and better exposed to the global luxury market, and is more aware of price discrepancies as well as of the wider luxury product ranges and lines available outside their home country.

According to Agility Affluent Insights 2015, there has been a sharp increase in the number of luxury bargain hunters in the region who do their research about brands, products and the prices before making purchasing decisions to ensure they get the best deals, whether in their home countries or overseas. This goes hand-in-hand with the rapid increase in the number of luxury boutiques opening up in airports, allowing consumers to purchase products tax-free.

Following these trends, luxury brands are having to adapt their offering to meet the needs of an increasingly global and better travelled luxury consumer, Daniel Piette, Chairman, LVMH Investment Funds, said: “There is no point doing specific products for one country, they have to be global and non-country specific.”

These trends and many more were discussed in-depth at the “The power of brands: What is the future for luxury brands in Asia” session on 17 March and “Asia’s new perception of luxury” session on 18 March at the Congress. The speakers at these sessions included Daniel Piette, Chairman, LVMH Investment Funds, Ravi Thakran, Chairman, LVMH South, South East Asia and Middle East, Amrita Banta, Managing Director, Affluential PTE Ltd and Tan Kim Boom, Senior Consultant, Asia Academy for Retailing.

Source: i2i Events Group