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Chinese sales boosts luxury goods market in 2009

Despite the economic crisis, 2009 ended better than it began for the French luxury goods sector, thanks largely to China’s growing taste for high-end products, encouraging thoughts of a better 2010.

Following the trend set by other global luxury brands, Hermes and LVMH announced fourth quarter sales growth on Thursday and Friday, suggesting the worst of the crisis could be over for the sector.

After announcing that annual profits fell 13 percent to 1.7 billion euros (2.3 billion dollars), LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault said he was pleased with “record” sales figures for December, which he said would “grow in January”.
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Luxury Brands Still Strong in China

Gucci China

A survey just released in China has lifted the lid on the nation’s obsession with luxury brands and identified just where consumers are spending their money.

The 2009 21st Century Deluxe Report (www.21deluxereport.com — in Chinese only) says that China’s love affair with luxury shows no signs of abating.

According to one Professor Lu Xiao (Fudan University), who was in charge of the survey, decisions on spending made in China are now “knowledged-based.”
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Inside Lux TV launches as first HD luxury TV

Inside Lux TV launched today as the world’s first high definition TV and video portal aimed toward the luxury market.

The HD video gallery is composeed of six major themes that include fashion, gadgets and travel.

The luxury living channel has a sizeable selection of lifestyle films produced by brands that include Lamborghini, Dom Perignon and the world’s most expensive house, The Updown Court Manor.
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Shanghai’s First Luxury Brand Event

LuxuryMart09, an annual luxury business-to-business event will be held in Shanghai next Thursday (January 15th) and is set to welcome over 50 of the world’s top luxury brands including Bentley, Princess Yachts, Cartier, Bank of China and Relais & Chateaux.

The premier event for luxury brands targeting China’s fast-growing affluent sector, is now in its third year and is the leading annual platform for brands to exchange ideas and collaborate on marketing products and services for high-end Chinese consumers.

China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury brands, expected to rank second only to Japan by 2015.
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Luxury retailers slow to embrace the web

Luxury brands make sure they look after their customers, at least in the high street. Online, it is another story.

A recent article in the Financial Times shows that some of the smartest names in retailing struggle to work out how to use the web to interact with their clientele.

On the whole, luxury brands have neglected the potential of the Internet.

Many luxury brands still prove poor at offering personalised custom service online, a keystone of what makes their brand high-end instores.

Are these brands underestimating how new technology and social networking tools can help build personal relationships and loyalty between visitors and the brand across global markets?
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