In recent years, LS:N Global has tracked the luxury market’s shift towards sustainable practices and purpose-led brands, alongside Western luxurians’ growing awareness of meaningless consumption. The pandemic could exacerbate this further, with luxury brands stepping forward to be industry leaders demonstrating supportive, people-orientated behaviours, and innovations that future-proof the sector.
Civic Brands: As a non-essential sector that attracts its fair share of scrutiny for how it behaves, luxury brands are on a moral mission. LVMH tasked its beauty and perfume suppliers to speedily produce hand sanitiser for French hospitals, while Prada, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga are making masks.
Manufacturing: Cities on lockdown and a lack of tourism will hit luxury sales in major cities and airports. In response to dwindling demand – and to support their workforce – Chanel, Hermès and Gucci are among brands pausing work at factories in France, Switzerland and Italy to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Customer service: The intimacy and expertise of luxury customer service is being challenged as affluent shoppers socially isolate and stores are ordered to close. British jeweller Annoushka Ducas is navigating this time by using Hero and WhatsApp to uphold personal communication and retain the production of bespoke pieces with global clients.
Digital collections: With public gatherings cancelled, the luxury events calendar is taking a hit. Digital tools, however, are allowing brands to experiment with new ways to present collections and products. Shanghai Fashion Week is transforming its runway shows into digital experiences, live-streaming new collections via e-commerce platform Tmall.
1. As affluent consumers seek refuge away from major cities, luxury brands will soon follow suit, exploring suburban operations or hyper-local services that bring them closer to their customers.
2. Themes of Resilience Culture, wellness and longevity will feed into future luxury products and experiences as well-heeled shoppers pursue brands that can support then in achieving a life that's holistically healthier.
3. Luxury retail's personal service and detailed presentation of goods will translate into virtual experiences that allow brands to have a hyper-personal relationship with clients, while also opening them up to global audiences.
4. In the years ahead, the impact of Covid-19 will drive a sense of Uneasy Affluence among global luxurians, who in turn will take a more conscious approach to luxury consumption and their expectation of brands.
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