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No guarantee how long big-time sales in luxury brands will continue

By Dian Vujovich

The first quarter of this year has been a whopping good one for a number of companies selling luxury brand goods of all sorts. But with a world economy that’s shaky at best, lux brand companies expecting double-digit sales to continue throughout the rest of this year might be wise to slip off their rose-colored 2012 glasses.

According to Luxurydaily.com, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton—they’re the company that bring us items we’d be fools to live without like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, etc.—revenues were up 25 percent the first quarter of this year.

Beating that figure was PPR. They reported a 29 percent increase in revenues. Looks like the world loves their brands too that include Brioni, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent.

Even car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz experienced sales increases of over 15 percent. Both Audi and the BMW Group also enjoyed over 11 percent increases.

And then there are the travel and hotel companies like Orient-Express, up 10 percent. Big fat sales were also reported for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, too. All according to that same source.

But even though one-quarter might make the year, as they say in the biz, it’s also not a guaranteed teller of the future.

With financial challenges here, in Europe and Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC), the pros suggest luxury brand companies focus on relationships to keep their bottom lines humming upwards.

That’s sound advice but what’s missing is a bit of reality: Even the uber-wealthy have their limits and can only buy so much. I mean, how many new Rollsies or Fendi handbags can you buy this year?

Okay, on Moët we know there are no limits but the other stuff? Really people. Rich or poor, in good economic times or bad, there are limits.

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