Even luxury shopping is feeling the pinch

Even luxury shopping is feeling the pinch

The luxury fashion industry is enduring somewhat of a mini crisis. It appears that this seemingly endless recession is starting to take its toll on our consumption of some of the most fabulous items in the fashion world. 

Well at least for some firms. While top names in the 'absolute luxury' segment, such as Hermes and Prada, are raking in the dough as the wealthiest continue to splash the clash, those in the 'affordable luxury' bracket are feeling the pinch, as their customers, well, feel the squeeze themselves.

'Aspirational' spenders – those women and men that like to dabble in luxury, but can't afford the most expensive goods – are increasingly steering away from brands such as Burberry.

"The reason traffic is down is because aspirational luxury shoppers are more impacted by the macroeconomic environment,'' explained the British label's finance director Stacey Cartwright. ''Higher-spending luxury consumers are more resilient and have carried on spending.''

Typical, eh? When money is tight, the rich get richer, while everyone else gets that little bit poorer.

But the recession isn't just threatening Burberry's survival. Brands up and down our high streets are being hurt by lower and lower levels of footfall, and the pressure from the discount giants on the internet.

Step in Mary Portas. The Queen of Shops is on a one woman mission to preserve the very existence of our town's shopping streets with her Portas Pilots scheme.

Already in full swing, the pilots see Town Teams backed by the government delivering new visions for their high streets to provide "an experience that's not available elsewhere" – she's looking at you, internet.

And that for me hits the nail on the head. Just like luxury brands can provide a sense of style that's not possible with an economy range, our high streets can provide us with a shopping experience that's far more emotionally, if not financially, rewarding than simply clicking on items on a website and adding them to a digital shopping basket.

Have you put luxury shopping on hold?

Posted by Many Jones

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