Luxury is dead, long live luxury

The global luxury market has grown enormously in recent decades – from just under € 100 billion at the turn of the millennium to almost € 300 billion at the beginning of 2020. Then came the corona crisis, which drastically slowed industry growth within a few months. But studies show that once the pandemic is over, the high-end market will grow back to pre-crisis levels. Any market expert will agree that China in particular will continue to drive this recovery, as it is the only market that grew in 2020. However, our latest APAC study shows that the performance of (luxury) brands in emerging markets is often linked to their image strength in established markets. This means that European brands are faced with a dual imperative: learning and mastering new markets while refining their targeting in the domestic market to increase efficiency and remain iconic.

Experiential luxury: Luxury today is more than bling bling

SINUS provides in-depth analysis of this fascinating market – both from the perspective of consumers and the players that drive and define it. We have particular luxury expertise in the watch, jewelry, platinum, fashion, tourism and automotive markets. We take into account the “democratic shift” or the dissolution of boundaries in this market and the corresponding hybridization of the clientele. Luxury today hardly ever means mere extravagance anymore but also responsibility. Style is increasingly meeting sustainability (even if sometimes only as a backdrop motif). For example, together with the German Fashion Institute, we found out that two-thirds of German luxury fashion consumers are willing to spend more on climate-neutral products.

Decline of stationary luxury shopping worlds?

The luxury market is increasingly concerned with the question of whether classic high-end boutiques will disappear in the wake of the increasing importance of online retailing (not least due to the pandemic). Currently, growth in the digital sector (from about 12 % in 2019 to nearly 25 % of sales in 2020) is expected to outlast the pandemic. However, our research also shows that this does not expand brick-and-mortar outlets, but actually increases their added value as experiential spaces, because this quality cannot be conveyed virtually. Luxury shopping combines appearance with experience.

Participation in market research must be a best-in-class experience for luxury target groups

Luxury as research topic has been something of a SINUS passion since the 1990s. We’ve conducted studies with millionaires, researched the HNWI (high net worth individuals) segment for the financial industry, and explored high-end customers for the automotive and furniture industries.

With exclusive target groups in particular, the quality of the sample is more important than its size. We recruit extremely carefully and selectively and find the right interview setting depending on the target group and product category. Our luxury experts strike the right note – whether they are advising design studios or speaking in boardrooms.


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