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Mid-Year Temperature Taking: The Year So Far,
The Year to Come

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In the wake of Britain’s historic decision to exit the European Union, the vote's out on the impact it will have on luxury brands and the extent of instability to financial markets in Europe and around the globe.

When Italy's Ferragamo CEO sees no let up in luxury sector slowdown and Neiman Marcus is doubling up their efforts to manage the business through this tough period, we know we're in challenging times.

The 2016 mid year is shaping up to be a much more complex year than anticipated for luxury brands.  After two decades when annual economic growth averaged nearly six percent, Goldman Sachs predicts economic growth for 2016 will be down to 2.5 percent. Bloomberg predicts that the global market for personal luxury goods is heading for its weakest year since 2009 as a combination of stock market turmoil, a strong dollar and a commodity-price rout curb demand.

Even so, the rich – the top one percent - are getting richer and spending at unprecedented rates. The still-anemic buying of the aspirational buyer (household incomes up to $300,000) has caused luxury brands to aggressively focus on marketing to their very best customers – winning their greater spend, loyalty and referral of customers like them. The old ‘we tell them what to wear’ ethic is all but dead.  Increasingly, luxury brands are more exquisitely segmenting and targeting their top buyers based on historical buying patterns.   

The “new normal” for the luxury market is growth of 3 percent to 4 percent, and total luxury spending will surpass 1 trillion euros by the end of 2015, led by accelerating sales of luxury cars, hotels and fine art, according to Bain.

Traditional brand loyalty is waning, as the best luxury buyers become more discerning and demanding. Online buying and social media continue to challenge brands to be more innovative in their marketing.  As the disparity between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ continues to widen, public pressure on luxury brands to give back and keep a sharp eye on manufacturing, environmental and corporate citizenship practices will continue to increase.

In 2016 how are luxury brands reacting? How are they reengineering and better integrating their marketing strategies and tactics? How are they better serving their best customers? What are the predictions for the second half of the year?
Join us and a panel of seven C-Suite executives representing a range of segments of the luxury market on Thursday, July 14 for a compelling discussion of these important trends. Do please come prepared to weigh in with your own thoughts on 2016 - THE YEAR SO FAR, THE YEAR TO COME.