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Leibish & Co

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jewelry and Watch Sales Drive Global Luxury Consumption

Double-digit growth in jewelry and watch sales, strong demand in China and Latin America, and resurging U.S. and European markets have all contributed to what is expected to be a growth of 13 percent in worldwide luxury consumption in 2011, according to a recently released report.

Consulting firm, Bain & Company, which created the report, revised its overall 2011 growth projections from the 8 percent growth in luxury consumption it predicted in May.

Jewelry and watch sales are expected to grow by 18 percent year-over-year in 2011, driven by self-purchasing women in emerging markets, according to the report. Accessories sales are expected to increase by 13 percent and apparel by 8 percent for the year.

The annual study was done for Altagamma, a trade organization that represents the largest luxury goods companies in Italy. The organization released the report in Milan on Monday.

Luxury sales growth in the Americas for 2011 is expected to be 8 percent, led by 20-percent growth in Brazil. Europe is expected to show a 7 percent growth rate for the year. Asia again is the engine that is driving the luxury economy. 2011 sales are expected to grow 25 percent, year-over-year, “with no sign of slow down,” according to the report. “China remains the champion of the region,” with an expected 35 percent rate of growth in 2011, equaling the prior year’s consumption growth. “Chinese customers already account for more than 20 percent of total worldwide luxury consumption,” according to the report.

In a separate report by Bain for Altagamma, also released Monday, it predicts that the growth of the luxury market will decline, but sales will still be strong in many luxury goods categories and geographical regions.

The jewelry, watches, pens and lighter category is expected to grow by 10 percent for 2012—the same rate of the growth is projected for leather goods, shoes and accessories. Apparel is expected to rise by 6.5 percent; followed by fragrances and cosmetics (4.5%); and tableware (2%).

The strongest geographical region for luxury goods and services will again be Asia, which is expected to grow by 16 percent, and Latin America, with 10 percent growth predicted. Expected growth in luxury sales for other regions is as follows: Middle East (8.75%), North America (6%), Europe (3.75%), and Japan (1.75%).

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