As China’s luxury growth slows, brands are refocusing on the US

Glossy – While China continues to dominate the minds of many luxury brands, some are instead focusing their future on the U.S. market.

Il Bisonte, an Italian luxury leather goods brand founded in the 1970s, is a prime example. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, the brand operated in the U.S. and was sold at a number of American department stores like Barneys. But in the ’80s, CEO Sofia Ciucchi said that other markets began to overshadow the U.S. in importance.

But now, China’s luxury growth is slowing down. To use the same brand as an example, Burberry closed four flagship stores in China over the last eight months, as part of a larger strategy to realign the brand’s luxury positioning, according to CEO Marco Gobbetti. Meanwhile, the U.S. is increasingly looking like a valuable market for luxury brands. Il Bisonte, which has previously opened flagships in Hong Kong, said the U.S. is a much more crowded market to break into.

“While much of luxury expansion has focused on China, the U.S. continues to be a desirable market,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm. “One of the greatest challenges for a new brand looking to penetrate the U.S. market is brand awareness. There is a lot of competition for mindshare and existing brand loyalty from the plethora of existing luxury brands in the U.S.”

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