State of Luxury: Brazil

sector - travel & hospitality
sector - luxury
type - market focus
Market Focus
Recovery looks promising in Brazil’s luxury market but long-term success will lie in brands’ ability to embrace e-commerce and personalise customer experiences

Despite economic woes in recent years and now the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the luxury goods market in Brazil is riding the storm, bouncing back faster than in other nations.

While the local luxury market declined by 11.4% from 2019 to 2020 because of the pandemic, the nation is more resilient than the global luxury market, which contracted by 13.8% in the same period, according to Euromonitor.

Amid the health crisis and local restrictions, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) continue to purchase luxury items, leading brands to accelerate their digital strategies to meet them in the new digital channels – and regional locations – of their preference.

Indeed, acquiring bigger luxury homes away from the epicentres of the pandemic is a rising trend, opening new opportunities for luxury experiences and retail. Now, it remains to be seen if this recovery will finally launch the country onto the global stage as one of luxury’s prime players.

Published by:

6 July 2021

Author: Graciela Martin and Livvy Houghton

Image: Pomeriggio by Gleeson Paulino


Left: Naya Violeta, Brazil. Right: Pomeriggio, photography by Gleeson Paulino.

An unwaning appetite

For luxury brands, the Brazilian market holds notable potential and a chance to capture the attention and spend of consumers unperturbed by the global pandemic. With the health crisis preventing wealthy Brazilians from travelling to their preferred luxury shopping destinations, spending has increased at home – even when many high-ticket items were marked up 30% higher by brands, in comparison with pre-pandemic prices (source: The Rio Times).

‘Many of our customers that used to travel and purchase abroad increased their purchases locally,' says Carlos Jereissati Filho, CEO of the Iguatemi Group of shopping malls. Indeed, the country is currently home to twice as many extremely wealthy people as Russia – 167,000 versus 78,000 high-net-worth individuals, according to Vogue Business.

‘Brazilians are more sophisticated than they used to be,’ says Diego Stecchi, managing director of Luxury Retail Partners, a company that helps brands enter new markets, himself a former regional director of Salvatore Ferragamo in Latin America. He believes that brands with an established presence will reap the most rewards in the immediate future, as seen locally with Bulgari and Cartier, which are focusing on select groups of HNWIs.

According to The Rio Times, Bulgari sold pieces worth more than £108,290 ($150,000, €126,000) in 2020, with HNWIs ‘spending less often but with significant prices’, according to Christian Konrad, Bulgari director for Latin America. Meanwhile, Cartier describes its clients’ growing flexibility in relation to high-value purchases such as jewellery and watches, with the company using Zoom, WhatsApp and digital events to retain personal connections.

‘The results achieved by Cartier in 2020 largely exceeded expectations for the year,’ explains Maxime Tarneaud, general manager of Cartier in Brazil. ‘The e-boutique totalled sales [in 2020] forecast only for the fifth year of operation, almost quintupling its sales compared to 2019.’

‘Brazilians have become more interested in shopping outside the norm and looking for exclusive products’
Diego Stecchi, managing director, Luxury Retail Partners

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