High-end retailers continue to do well in the U.S., but many are setting their sights abroad as emerging foreign markets offer more opportunities for growth.
The luxury market in the U.S. matched pre-recession totals in 2011, according to a report cited on Women’s Wear Daily’s website. Upper-income shoppers — people making more than $75,000 a year — spent about $900 a year on clothing last year.
A return to moderate growth of 3 to 5 percent is expected in the U.S. However, the foreign market offers the opportunity for much more explosive growth. For example, experts anticipate the luxury apparel market in China to increase by 20 to 30 percent annually.
We’ll see more high-end luxury apparel being sold in foreign markets, namely Brazil and China, where the money is starting to flow into their economy and investments are being made.
It’s a great opportunity for technology companies to help these high-end retailers. They can provide the support and skilled people to support these emerging markets with multi-language, multi-currency and multi-store Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
Upper-income consumers in China keep growing. Most of these customers like to shop at department stores and specialty shops, and much of their luxury spending has been in U.S. cities such as New York and Los Angeles due to high taxes in China.
In 2011, clothing sales in China accounted for 14 percent of the country’s luxury business, and in Brazil, apparel made up 6 percent of luxury sales.
Source: Women’s Wear Daily, April 2012