Luxury Institute News

November 30, 2011

Men, Not Women, Drive Luxury Goods Sales in China

By Neerja Pawha Jetley
November 29, 2011

Contrary to popular perception, men — not women — make up the bulk of consumers buying luxury goods in China. From Giorgio Armani clothes to Gucci handbags and Rolex watches, Chinese men have been outstripping women when it comes to shopping.

In 2010, Chinese men spent 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) on their wardrobes, far more than the 2.8 billion yuan spent by women, according to a Bain report. Further, the market for luxury menswear in China is expected to rise 9 percent in 2011 compared to 7 percent for women’s wear, according to the consulting firm.

Looking to tap this spending power of Chinese men is Landmark Men – a 60,000 square-foot men’s-only mall in Hong Kong. Luxury brands like Valentino Men, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are nestled amongst premium grooming products, fragrances and gadgets in this sprawling mall that opened in October 2011.

Victor Luis, president of Coach Retail International in Shanghai was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying men make up 45 percent of the $1.2 billion market for all luxury handbags in China. In the U.S., that figure is just 7 percent. He added that “There’s a confidence and comfort in Chinese men utilizing bags in the same manner as women do.”

Vinay Dixit, Senior Expert and Leader of McKinsey Asia Consumer Center, told CNBC that over the past 12 months, Chinese men on average spent 61 percent more than women on fragrances and 52 per cent more on watches.

Seeing this growing affinity among Chinese men to shop, luxury brands are going all out to woo them. Dior Homme, for example, has around 35 freestanding men’s stores in China.

Burberry, the maker of the iconic check trench coat, has opened 59 stores in 31 Chinese cities with every store carrying a wider selection of men’s styles compared to other markets.

Louis Vuitton now has 36 stores in 29 cities across the mainland, compared to stores in just 10 cities in 2005. The company has used an Asian male model for the first time in its 2011 advertising campaign, a likely attempt to woo the male shopper in China.

Other retailers are also expanding rapidly. Gucci, which started with just six stores at the beginning of 2006, has 39 stores today. Hermes quadrupled its stores from five in 2005 to 20 today. All these stores house the company’s full range, including menswear. “There’s a reason for the rush: while many other markets are flat or shrinking, luxury goods are booming in China,” according to a 2011 McKinsey Insights China research report.

The report points out that China will account for over 20 percent of global luxury sales by 2015 and will overtake Japan as the world’s largest market for luxury goods. Market watchers say Chinese male consumers will drive much of this growth.

The average male luxury shopper in China is less than 45 years old, educated, well-traveled and entrepreneurial, says McKinsey‘s Dixit.

According to a senior manager at a prominent luxury brand in Hong Kong, until a few years back, luxury consumption in China was a result of businessmen traveling abroad and bringing home fine goods. “Men were bigger shoppers than women, buying gifts for wives and business associates, very often for government officials,” he said.

But the motivations have now changed. Men are now rewarding themselves for hard work and success. “They also consider luxury labels as lending credence to not just their social status, but individual style,” said the McKinsey report.

L’Oreal, the French personal care products company, now sells more male grooming products in China than in Western Europe, according to media reports.

Sales in China in 2010 rose to 9.085 billion yuan ($1.38 billion), an 11.1 percent increase over the previous year, and a double-digit gain for the 10th consecutive year, said Alexis Perakis-Valat, CEO of L’Oreal China at a news conference in Beijing earlier this year.

According to a recent seven-country survey conducted by the New-York based Luxury Institute, attitudes toward shopping for luxury goods were far more positive in China than in rich nations. Seventy-five percent of Chinese said that luxury expenditures were “prudent” purchases, while 78 percent of wealthy consumers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany considered them to be an “extravagance.”

November 18, 2011

Luxury experiences not up to product standards: Luxury Institute

By Rachel Lamb
Luxury Daily
November 17, 2011

Luxury brands are having a hard time matching high-quality products with premium experiences, making it difficult for them to retain affluent customers, according to findings from a report by the Luxury Institute.

Customer retention is a saving grace in times of economic uncertainty since providing great experiences is what will make consumers continue buying. Personal relationships and experiences are key to this type of success.

“Products have never been a problem,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “The industry has gotten its act together and put out superb products in terms of craftsmanship, design and quality.

“But the problem is how to create a relationship from a human perspective,” he said. “When Zappos can out-behave luxury brands in service, there is a huge opportunity to improve human interaction.

“Wealthy shoppers want to engage with luxury brands and are willing to give them personal information if it means that it will increase their customer experience.”

Can spam

A few brands have made an impression on luxury consumers by delivering superb products and customer service.

Approximately 86 percent of consumers do not mind providing personal information to luxury firms if the result is a superior experience, according to the study.

Furthermore, 77 percent will give their email addresses and 50 percent are willing to share product preferences, birthdays and anniversary dates.

The problem is that brands often do not reach out to customers in the right way or in the right increments.

“Luxury brands spam their customers every day, and they get turned off,” Mr. Pedraza said.

“If you earn the confidence of your customer over time, you should be able to text them or call them and that is the human interaction that generates transaction and sales,” he said. “If you just send offers on a mass basis without differentiating, it really is just spam.”

There are some brands that have gone above and beyond, according to the responses by consumers in the Luxury Institute study.

Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and NetJets excelled in the travel and hospitality category, while fashion brands such as Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Ralph Lauren and Rolex were at the top of their sectors.


Debt crisis in Europe and in the United States slowed spending during October, but not so much that sales went into negatives.

Nordstrom’s same-store sales rose 5.4 percent in October, but decreased from a 10.7 percent increase in September.

On the other hand, Saks Fifth Avenue’s comparable sales dropped to 1.8 percent in October from September’s 9.3 percent gains.

Meanwhile, Neiman Marcus reported comparable sales that grew 6.4 percent for three months ending Oct. 30.

“Customer retention is in the 10 percent–20 percent range, which is pretty dismal,” Mr. Pedraza said. “There is a lot of slowing all over the world, and BRIC markets have masked the fact that the luxury industry is slowing down dramatically in Europe and a risk of a slowdown in the U.S.

“When there is less growth, the more urgent it is to hook return customers,” he said.

The best way to do so is to provide exceptional experiences. These can come in many forms.

For example, notifications by email of early sales went out to 39 percent of wealthy shoppers this year, down from 45 percent in 2010.

Consumers do want emails, but would prefer if they were customized, the study said.

Another type of personalized service that has increased over this year is the availability of free shipping on purchases and returns.

Retailers such as Gilt Groupe and Nordstrom have used this technique to up their customer service

This is the most important “special touch” offered by luxury brands, according to the Luxury Institute.

“There is so much opportunity in the industry to retain customers,” Mr. Pedraza said. “The biggest opportunity is to take the data that is collected and use it to build long-term relationships.

“The more you know about a customer, the more you will be able to customize the offers, whether it is with a handbag or ready-to-wear,” he said.

“There is a huge opportunity, but it is being wasted by a lot of luxury brands.”

November 16, 2011

How The Uncertain Economy Is Changing The Definition Of Luxury

By Blue Carreon
November 15, 2011

Even with its $10,000 price tag, is the Hermes Birkin bag still a luxury item when it’s become so ubiquitous? Can a consumer claim to be a luxury goods shopper when all he or she has to show for is a wallet from Bottega Veneta? What does luxury mean in a world when almost every other person at the airport security check is toting a Louis Vuitton or Gucci bag? Isn’t this the anti-thesis of exclusivity?

With the emergence of new wealthy consumers from the BRIC countries and the economic downturn for most nations outside of the BRIC superfecta in the past few years, luxury has taken on a multitude of new meanings. No longer does it exclusively equate to expensive products that are mostly of French or Swiss origins.

At the depths of the recession in 2008, stealth luxury became the buzzword. It was about consumption of goods that were expensive but discreet and very in-the-know, the opposite of ostentatious. It was about masking one’s Hermes purchases in a generic brown paper bag instead of the house’s unmistakable orange shopping bag. Conspicuous consumption was left to the cash-rich Chinese and their penchant for Chanel.

“These last three down-market years have created a dramatic shift in the definition of what luxury is. This recession has affected even the rich. No longer is luxury defined by excess and conspicuous consumption. Now luxury means products with higher perceived value and increased practicality. Demonstrating this is the near-disappearance of the ‘logo-covered product’ in the marketplace. The face of luxury is becoming much more subtle, understated and less ostentatious. Branded names are still the strong sellers, but the economy has dictated that it’s no longer fashionable to make sure everyone knows what brand you carry or wear from meters away,” says Robert Bergman, president of Bergman Associates, a boutique luxury branding and advertising company.

Just before the economy tanked, being green and eco-friendly became the new luxury. With this came a deluge of products that carried the words sustainable, recycled, reused, organic and earth-friendly. Even magazines came out with Green Issues, which were a bit of a paradox considering how many trees were cut down to print them and the carbon footprint emissions to deliver copies worldwide.

According to Milton Pedraza of the Luxury Institute, a consulting company dedicated to studying the behavior of high net worth consumers, the green factor remains a part of the luxury equation. “But the recession dampened the importance of the issue but it is making a comeback because it is needed in the minds of luxury consumers and executives. Luxury brands are getting traction on the issue.”

A lot of luxury brands have also been upping their luxury quotient by introducing limited-edition and bespoke items like bespoke Burberry trench coats or limited edition Bottega Veneta cabat bags. By doing so, they get to create a new stratum for their big spenders who do not want to be pegged in the same category as those who can only afford entry-level items like wallets, key chains and small purses.

“The truly rich have always been—and still are—the consumers of the “bespoke luxury” product, the ultimate in luxury. When your product is one of a kind, hand-made or customized to (or for) you, you create instant exclusivity—no one else can have what you have. Companies that trade in customized bespoke luxury such as Brioni for men’s suits, Remote Lands for travel, or Goldetto for bespoke luxury iPhone cases are seeing huge successes by tapping into the psyche of true luxury,” says Bergman.

But with the Euro Zone crisis and increasing fears of another recession, what does luxury for those outside the realm of the super wealthy and recession-proof?

“It means the best in design, quality, craftsmanship, service and pedigree. If a brand can deliver that at a lower price, consumers love that even more because they feel they are optimizing value. Coach, Apple and Zappos are examples of that trend,” says Pedraza.

How much to be wealthy?

By Judy Martel
November 15, 2011

Being a millionaire ain’t what it used to be. Nearly 800 wealthy individuals worldwide surveyed by Barclays Wealth say it takes a minimum of $10 million in liquid assets to define a person as wealthy. The fact that the definition specifies liquid wealth is important. As many of the superwealthy discovered during the recession, wealth built on real estate and other illiquid assets can become a house of cards that leads to bankruptcy when spending equals or surpasses the wealth on paper…

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

Jimmy Choo: Mellon departure may force redefinition of footwear brand

By Rachel Lamb
Luxury Daily
November 15, 2011

Following the abrupt departure of Jimmy Choo cofounder and creative officer Tamara Mellon and CEO Joshua Shulman, the footwear giant’s success and brand reputation will rely solely on their successors.

Not only did Ms. Mellon serve as the brains and creative behind the brand, she was also seen as a brand ambassadress and even posed in ads for the recently-launched Jimmy Choo fragrance. Although the reason for the resignations are not concrete, many reports suggest that Ms. Mellon and Mr. Shulman’s leaving likely has to do with Jimmy Choo’s buyout by famed footwear conglomerate Labelux in May.

“The bigger question for Jimmy Choo is not the departure of Tamara Mellon, but how the new owner of the brand Labelux will manage the brand,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stephens, PA.

“The company’s stated goal for the brand is to accelerate growth,” she said. “As a luxury brand, that growth needs to be carefully managed.

“In the current economy, we are seeing the dividing line between mass and class blurring,” she said. “It may not be in the best interest of the luxe-leaning Jimmy Choo  brand to become too popular among the masses in the interest of stimulating fast growth.”

Named after a Malaysian shoemaker, Jimmy Choo competes with footwear brands such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin. The company has changed hands several times in the past decade.

Big shoes to fill
Ms. Mellon has been the creative director and cofounder at Jimmy Choo for 15 years. She is slated to leave at the end of this month.

Jimmy Choo CEO Mr. Schulman has been with the brand for five years. He plans to stay on until early 2012 for a “transitional period,” according to a report from New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Since Ms. Mellon has attached herself so personally to the brand, it may be difficult for consumers to accept a new spokesperson for Jimmy Choo.

“I think that some of the main challenges would be redefining the brand,” said Courtney Albert, consultant on marketing and branding at Parker Avery, Atlanta. “Mellon was the face of the brand and a lot of women bought into not only Jimmy Choo, but her lifestyle and the kind of woman she exemplifies.”

A more pressing matter, however, is bringing the brand back to the luxe label that it once was.

“The brand did very well financially and was successful, but brand equity-wise it is not on the same level as it was early-on,” she said.

Heeling touch
To bring Jimmy Choo back to its original luxe, the executives at Labelux have their hands full.

“I think it’s unfortunate to lose such high-performance executives at a critical transition time because they are the creators of brand culture,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York.

One of the cornerstones of the luxury industry is, of course, customer service.

The brand’s greatest opportunity is creating a customer-centric culture that is measurable, per Mr. Pedraza.

Another kind of marketing may also help Jimmy Choo reinvent itself with a new face and as a new company.

“I think that with the right marketing, it can overcome this bump because for a long time people didn’t know that there even was a Jimmy Choo and didn’t know the real story,” Parker Avery’s Ms. Albert said.

“I don’t necessarily think that her departure will crumble the brand, but they’ll have to take a series of strategic initiatives to build upon what she created,” she said.

November 14, 2011

Lagging Lexus aims at creating exciting, sporty new image

By James R. Healey and Chris Woodyard
USA Today
November 13, 2011

When Toyota was preparing for the 1989 launch of Lexus, the man appointed to birth the luxury brand, J. Davis Illingworth, often said: “We don’t have a single dissatisfied customer.” 

Disingenuous, of course, because the gestating Lexus had no customers at all. But the strongly implied remainder — “… and we intend to keep it that way” — helped raise the bar for luxury car brands.

But now, after phenomenal growth that made Lexus the top-selling luxury auto brand in the U.S. from 2001 through last year, the marque is tumbling. This year, it’s unlikely to finish better than third behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz…

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute:

Wealthy U.S. Shoppers Weigh In on Personalized Service, Rank Luxury Brands in 16 Categories for Ability to Deliver ‘Over the Top’ Customer Experiences

(NEW YORK) Nov 14, 2011- U.S. shoppers earning at least $150,000 want to interact more closely with luxury firms, but not all brands are meeting the demand. This is among the findings of “Luxury Clienteling 2010-2011,” a new WealthSurvey from the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute.

Most wealthy consumers (86%) are willing to provide personal information to luxury firms if it results in a superior experience. More than three-fourths (77%) are happy to supply their email address.

One type of personalized service found to be valued is the availability of free shipping on purchases and returns, a seemingly small but monumentally important feature.

“Consumers view free shipping as the most important ‘special touch’ that luxury firms must provide,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Nordstrom began offering free shipping and returns in August, and it’s surprising that more firms don’t do the same.”

Below are the top-ranked brands for delivering “over the top” experiences in each of the 16 luxury categories:

Leisure Travel: Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton
Private Transportation: NetJets
Wine/Spirits: Grey Goose, Dom Perignon and Mondavi
Jewelry/Watches: Rolex
Home Appliances: Viking, LG, GE, Bosch and Subzero
Home Furnishings: Ethan Allen
Health & Fitness: Bally’s
Beauty/Skincare/Grooming: Clinique and Sephora
Designer Shoes: Gucci and Jimmy Choo
Designer Handbags: Coach
Fashion Apparel: Nordstrom, Gucci and Ralph Lauren
Fashion Accessories: Gucci, Coach and Oakley
Autos: Mercedes, Lexus and BMW
Technology: Apple
Personal Finance: Fidelity
Real Estate: Century 21

For greater details on clienteling best practices, visit

About Luxury Institute (
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Vice President
(914) 909-6350

November 10, 2011

PPR’s play for Brioni signals new interest in menswear: Pinault

By Rachel Lamb
Luxury Daily
November 9, 2011

With its planned acquisition of Italian label Brioni, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent owner PPR has made clear its interest in a market segment where it sees much potential: luxury menswear.

Founed in 1942, Brioni is known for both season collections and bespoke products targeting men looking to addstyle and pizazz to their wardrobe. Financial details of the planned transaction were not disclosed yesterday.

“Brioni’s acquisition makes a lot of sense for PPR,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman/CEO of PPR. “The brand is complementary and does not compete with the group’s other brands, as much as in regards with its market positioning than on its stylistic content.

“Growth in the men’s segment is significantly stronger than in women’s, and Brioni is the perfect match for this,” he said.

PPR owns Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Sergio Rossi and Stella McCartney.

Spoken for
PPR announced the signing of an agreement with Brioni shareholders to acquire all of its capital yesterday morning.

The transaction should be finalized at the beginning of 2012, according to PPR.

Brioni has significant intrinsic growth potential and PPR will enable it to accelerate its expansion and boost its profitability, notably through a wider product range and geographic expansion in strong growth markets, according to the conglomerate.

“PPR is buying one of the most prestigious and exclusive brands in the mens clothing business – Brioni is a gem of a brand,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York. “As PPR has shown with Bottega Veneta and Gucci, it knows how to scale a brand.

“Most of these brands are for men’s and women’s clothing, but Brioni is very distinctive and will give PPR an edge for custom and bespoke men’s clothing,” he said. “They can even expand the brand into accessories because men’s is such a growing business.

“PPR has the power to bring Brioni to a $1 billion company.”

Indeed, many experts believe that Brioni will certainly flourish under the control of PPR.

The addition of Brioni is a quick expansion of PPR’s product line and adds a new customer base for other PPR brands, according to Ron Kurtz, president of the American Affluence Research Center, Atlanta.

Brioni can benefit from having access to the capital resources of PPR and PPR’s relationships with the channels of distribution, he said.

Luxury brands that are part of conglomerates are provided with extra protection, especially in light of economic uncertainty.

PPR has taken brands such as Bottega Veneta and Gucci under its wings, turning them into extremely lucrative and successful labels.

“I think that Bottega Veneta is one of the most successful luxury brands in the last 10 years,” Luxury Institute’s Mr. Pedraza said. “The marketing and the customer experience expertise of PPR will be a tremendous asset to building Brioni.”

Acquiring gems
The luxury industry has witnessed several mergers and acquisitions in the past year.

Some experts believe that the reemergence of M&A is indicative of a recovery economy.

Following the recent acquisition of sportswear manufacturer Volcom, PPR announced in July its 50.1-percent stake majority control of Swiss watchmaker Sowind Group, parent company of Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard.

This is just the most recent in a whirlwind of mergers and acquisitions in the luxury industry.

For example, footwear manufacturer Jones Group acquired Kurt Geiger in June, which followed the sale of Jimmy Choo to Labelux in May.

Additionally, Richemont, the conglomerate that owns luxury brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and Montblanc, recently acquired online retailer Net-A-Porter this summer.

Furthermore, the ever-hungry LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton set its sights on, and soon acquired, Italian jeweler Bulgari in the first quarter of this year.

This begs the question: Is there any hope for independently-owned luxury brands in the future, or will they all eventually be owned by conglomerates?

“I think that luxury brands can achieve a certain level on their own – look at Coach,” Luxury Institute’s Mr. Pedraza said. “Gaining capital is the easiest thing to do right now, but having great financial management is a skill that these companies [such as PPR] have.

“There is no question that luxury brands can remain independent, but a brand in a conglomerate that has this certain level of expertise will grow tremendously,” he said. “The portfolio management approach works well for both the conglomerates that acquire brands and the brands that are acquired.”

November 3, 2011

David Yurman goes mcommerce after Web traffic jumps 200pc

By Kayla Hutzler
Luxury Daily
November 2, 2011

Jewelry designer David Yurman decided it was time to create a mobile commerce-enabled site after the New York-based Luxury Institute revealed that more than 20 percent of consumers with at least $5 million in net-worth were shopping through mobile devices.

The new site, powered by the Createthe Group CTS platform, allows consumers to browse, search and buy products as well as find nearby stores. David Yurman is confident that the mobile commerce site will deepen engagement with consumers since the brand has already seen a 200 percent increase in Web site traffic from its previous mobile efforts.

“By providing the mobile site, David Yurman can offer an ideal enhanced and optimized shopping experience for consumers by letting them shop from wherever they please,” said Allen Kung, cofounder and chief technology officer of Createthe Group, New York.

“Affluent consumers are increasingly using the mobile channel to find products and discover product information and good deals, as well as purchase products,” he said. “Therefore, luxury and premium brands are investing more heavily in mobile commerce experiences to keep them engaged.”

Register rings

While David Yurman did have a mobile-optimized site for the past five years, which was also powered by the Createthe Group platform, this marks the first time that consumers will be able to purchase products through their mobile phones.

Indeed, the brand saw the need to create a mobile site based on third-party research from the Luxury Institute and PayPal, along with its personal experience – overall Web site traffic jumped after implementing mobile channels.

The new site is easily navigated and can be found at

The homepage features a vertical bar with tabs for shop, style, stores and search.

Tapping on the style tab bring consumers two options – “celebrity and events” or “shop the campaign.”

Within these sections, consumers can shop the products they discover by tapping on a “view products” box in the image.

Back on the homepage, there is also an campaign picture, followed by a vertical navigation bar that lists seven options: women, men, timepieces, gifts, collections, eyewear and fragrance.

Within each of the vertical bar tabs are a number of subcategories such as new arrivals, best sellers, rings and bracelets.

Check it out
When a consumer is done browsing and has added her desired products to the shopping bag, the checkout process is smooth and hassle-free.

Consumers have a few options after they wish to check-out. They can sign-in to their accounts, register for an account or simply check-out.

Not requiring consumers to create a username is a smart move since many consumers are likely in a rush when they are shopping on their mobile phones.

The mobile site also features a location-based store locator for consumers who prefer to buy products in-store.

David Yurman wanted to launch the new mobile site just in time for the holiday season since many of its best consumers are busy executives with little time to shop, according to Carol Pennelli, the brand’s president.

The shift to a mobile commerce experience was relatively easy since the jeweler was already using the CTS platform, according to Createthe Group’s Mr. Kung.

“The David Yurman mobile commerce experience is not just another cookie-cutter mobile site experience,” Mr. Kung said. “The beauty and elegance of the David Yurman brand was not lost in the execution and creative interface design.

“[Consumers] will [now] enjoy the greater speed, ease and convenience of shopping on-the-go from anywhere they please at any time of the day,” he said. “It will make holiday shopping faster and easier for time-pressed shoppers as well as discriminating affluent consumers searching for the most unique and perfect gifts.”


November 2, 2011

Wealthy European Consumers Rank Luxury Hotel, Handbag and Fashion Brands; Loro Piana Loved By Women And Men, Hermès Earns Highest Handbag Score

(NEW YORK) November 2, 2011 – A new series of Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) surveys from the independent and objective New York City-based Luxury Institute reveals firsthand impressions and rankings of dozens of luxury brands by high net-worth consumers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy.

Wealthy European shoppers evaluated each brand on quality, exclusivity, social status and overall ownership experience to tabulate an overall LBSI score. Also considered were price worthiness, willingness to recommend the brand and likelihood of purchase.

Based on overall LBSI scores, the top three luxury brands in each category rank as follows:

  • Hotels (26 brands): Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces; Mandarin Oriental; Ritz-Carlton
  • Handbags (39 brands): Hermès; Tod’s; Chanel
  • Women’s Fashion (44 brands): Loro Piana; Brunello Cucinelli; Hermès
  • Men’s Fashion (35 brands): Loro Piana; Michael Kors; Brioni

Several country-specific preferences are apparent. In Women’s Fashion, Italians rank Valentino highest, Germans prefer Louis Vuitton, and Alexander McQueen earns top ranking in the U.K.  In hotels, Ritz-Carlton ranks first in France and second in the U.K. behind Mandarin Oriental.

“There is certainly a diversity of taste and preference among wealthy consumers in Europe,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Several brands have succeeded in transcending national boundaries and enjoy wide appeal among the continent’s wealthy.”

Respondents come from households with minimum annual income of €50,000, or £60,000 in the U.K. For greater details on brand rankings in each category and other purchase considerations of wealthy European consumers, visit

About Luxury Institute (
The Luxury Institute is the objective and independent global voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute conducts extensive and actionable research with wealthy consumers about their behaviors and attitudes on customer experience best practices. In addition, we work closely with top-tier luxury brands to successfully transform their organizational cultures into more profitable customer-centric enterprises. Our Luxury CRM Culture consulting process leverages our fact-based research and enables luxury brands to dramatically Outbehave as well as Outperform their competition. The Luxury Institute also operates, a membership-based online research portal, and the Luxury CRM Association, a membership organization dedicated to building customer-centric luxury enterprises.

For Further Information, Please Contact:

The Luxury Institute, LLC
Martin Swanson
Vice President
(914) 909-6350