Luxury Institute News

November 30, 2013

Are Apple users savvier shoppers?

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By Quentin Fottrell
MarketWatch
November 29, 2013

Owners of iPhones and iPads pay a premium for their Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)   devices, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to save a few bucks elsewhere. In fact, though Android devices outnumber those running iOS, Apple users were four times as likely to search for Black Friday deals, new research finds.

As retailers released their Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving, data indicates that owners of Apple devices were on the case. U.S. consumers using Apple’s iOS operating system drove 19% of online sales compared to 5% for Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG)   Android, according to the “IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark,” a real-time analysis of millions of online transactions from 800 retailers. The type of device used also affects sales. Smartphone owners browse, while tablet owners buy, the study found: Tablets drove 15% of online sales versus 9% for smartphones.

Apple also has far more affluent customers than Android, says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. What’s more, Apple users spent $127 per order online versus $113 for Android, the IBM study found. Android phones are sold at heavy discounts, while Apple keeps a tight rein on its pricing for iPads and iPhones, says Thomas Husson principal analyst at Forrester Research. “iOS users also tend to be more mobile-savvy than Android’s,” he says.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-apple-users-savvier-shoppers-2013-11-29/print?guid=6C5C5C18-5911-11E3-8B2D-00212803FAD6

November 28, 2013

Luxury Daily’s Luxury Women to Watch 2014

By Staff Reports
Luxury Daily
November 27, 2013

Tip a hat or nod respectfully to the 25 women on Luxury Daily’s Luxury Women to Watch 2014 list, a roll call of the some of the smartest women set to make a difference in luxury marketing and retail in 2014.

These executives share traits in common: dedication to craft, consumer focus, leadership potential, ambition, educator and exemplar. And yet, for all the plaudits, these women know that the journey is won step by step, with many miles to go before true gender parity is a reality in the luxury business.

“Women are extremely underrepresented at the highest ranks of luxury companies but fill the majority of positions at every other level,” said Meera Raja, analyst at The Luxury Institute, New York.

This honor list, the second since its debut last year, is geared to spotting future occupants of the C-suite.

Honor list
Executives on the list represent brands and retailers such as Rosewood Hotels, David Yurman, Bang & Olufsen, Lexus, FHRI Hotels and Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Co., Savelli, Pratesi Linens, H. Stern, La Prairie, Estee Lauder Cos., Moët Hennessy USA and Michael Kors.

Also on the list are executives from agencies, publishers, researchers, consultancies and service providers such as Art Luxe Style, Avista Partners, Brenes Co., ePrize, ShopIgniter, Gallant Media Group, Bluemoon Works, Luxury Institute, Interbrand, Carrot Creative, Hearst Design Group and Style Coalition.

It is a field of strong women with stronger convictions.

“So much of the luxury business is creating personalized experiences and I think women can think creatively to develop them,” said Nancy Hubbell, prestige communications manager at Lexus, Torrence, CA.

Judging process
Picking the honorees was not simple, given the sheer number of submissions. Luxury Daily invited readers to send in their nominations. The Luxury Daily team also had its own slate of candi¬dates based on regular interactions with luxury marketers.

Once the deadline expired, the Luxury Daily team judged the nominees on their merits and narrowed the list to 25 women who showed the most promise to push the envelope in 2014. All judging was based purely on merit and the potential to make a difference.

The list’s responses reflected the pragmatic approach to luxury marketing and retail, balancing both art and science across all channels including online, mobile and especially the mainstay, retail stores.

“Luxury retail settings are modern art galleries,” said Rebecca Miller, New York-based executive vice president of Pratesi Linens.

MANY THANKS to Michelle Nance for putting together this Clas¬sic Guide. Also, thank you to Jen King, Joe McCarthy and Sarah Jones for their nominations and judging as well as the reporting on Luxury Daily.

Please read this guide and reach out to the women honored. As role models, they pave the way for more women aspiring to not only enter luxury marketing and retail, but also aiming for the top.

London-based Rebecca Robins, Interbrand director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, said it best when she quoted the last words of the late British poet Seamus Heaney: “Noli timere.” Translated from the Latin: “Don’t be afraid.”

Please click here to download Luxury Daily’s Luxury Women to Watch 2014

http://www.luxurydaily.com/luxury-daily%E2%80%99s-luxury-women-to-watch-2014-2/print/

November 20, 2013

Treasure, What’s Your Pleasure?

There’s never been a better time to make a mint in fashion.

By Naomi Barr
Slate Magazine
November 19, 2013

The new titans of business are now also the best dressed. Take a glance at the Bloomberg Billionaires list: As of this writing, the third wealthiest person in the world is Amancio Ortega (net worth $64.2 billion), the founder of Spanish clothing chain Zara. No. 15 is luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault ($33 billion), chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA; just a few places behind is Stefan Persson ($29.3 billion), chairman of Swedish retail giant H&M. In the past year, a noteworthy crop of high-end designers made their first appearances on Forbes richest-billionaires list, including Tory Burch, Dolce & Gabbana’s Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, and Diesel founder Renzo Rosso. Brunello Cucinelli, with his eponymous label of suits and $2,000 cashmere sweaters, has reportedly sailed past the 10-figure mark while the ubiquitous Michael Kors is on the brink, if he hasn’t crossed it already.

High-end (or highish-end) fashion is the provenance of a new class of billionaire. “It’s the bifurcation of the world,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, a research and consulting firm. “People talk about the 99 percent and the 1, but it’s really more like the 80 percent and the 20. That top number of consumers is growing exponentially, and as a result, premium and luxury brands are surging.” With an expanded consumer base in China and other Asian markets as well as in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and the Americas, the luxury market has boomed; according to the consulting firm Bain & Co., these consumers worldwide have spent roughly $292 billion in 2013 alone.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/billion_to_one/2013/11/the_next_fashion_billionaire_michael_kors_marc_jacobs_and_others_on_the.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

 

 

Are flash-sale sites a flash in the pan?

By AnnaMaria Andriotis
Wall Street Journal
November 19, 2013

When shares of Zulily (NASDAQ:ZU)  soared 71% Friday following its initial public offering, investors seemed to be betting that flash-sale sites are here to stay. Consumers, however, are having trouble sorting out whether the limited-time offers they peddle are really a good deal. Zulily, the first such startup to go public, is part of a growing industry of high-end flash-sale sites geared toward more affluent consumers. The business model is fairly simple: offer consumers a limited period of time—typically from as little as one hour to two days—to buy high-end inventory at a discount. But the process hasn’t worked out so smoothly for shoppers.

In a sign that consumers are growing wary of the industry, one study found shoppers’ complaints to be widespread: Forty-four percent of comments on flash-sale Facebook pages were negative earlier this year, according to findings released in May by Dotcom Distribution, which provides fulfillment services, including serving as a warehouse, for companies that sell products via e-commerce. Just 29% were positive. Meanwhile, a look at the unique desktop visitors of 10 popular flash sale sites (data supplied by comScore, an analytics firm that tracks consumer behavior) reveals that they declined for all but three of them in October compared with a year prior.

Part of the problem is that these sites grew popular as a response to the downturn—and those conditions are no longer in play. As store sales tanked, high-end manufacturers were stuck with excess inventory and looking for ways to unload it. That’s when many flash-sale sites popped up offering high-end luxury brands, along the lines of Gucci and Chanel, at discounts that consumers could not previously find elsewhere. Those market conditions created a new category of discount sites that have been marketing to relatively affluent consumers who are looking for a steal on what (even with a discount) is still a relatively pricey product.

But that high caliber of retail is harder to come by on these sites now, says Maria Haggerty, president of Dotcom Distribution. Manufacturers have since scaled back production so there are fewer grade-A products on these sites. While most items are still relatively high-end, they don’t inspire the same excitement and flurry of demand. “There isn’t enough inventory of the type of products these sites want to sell because it’s doing well in stores,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, a New York-based research and consulting firm for the luxury industry.

 Click the link to read the entire article including a quote from Luxury Institute’s CEO Milton Pedraza: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/are-flash-sale-sites-a-flash-in-the-pan-2013-11-19/print?guid=5A07C5D6-5086-11E3-AD6E-00212803FAD6

November 19, 2013

T-shirt for $7 or $70? How the wealth gap is altering retail

By Allison Linn
CNBC
November 19, 2013

The growing wealth gap between the richest and poorest Americans is creating a shopping chasm between those who are trading up and those trading down, experts say. What’s missing is the middle.

“There is a two Americas kind of thing going on,” said Chris Christopher, director of U.S. and global consumer markets for IHS Global Insight.

The result is a retail marketplace in which even basic goods like socks and razors are becoming either incredibly cheap or extremely expensive, experts say.

Say you’re a guy who needs a new T-shirt. A shopper who feels like he has fallen down the economic ladder might opt for the $6.98 Kmart item. But a tech industry hotshot for whom things are looking up might be tempted by the $70 version available at Barneys.

Is there a new baby in the family? Cash-strapped shoppers might head to Wal-Mart for a $6.96 hoodie to bundle up that bundle of joy. The high-end shopper, on the other hand, could be eyeing the $135 cashmere number offered at J. Crew.

Robert Barakett $59.50 men’s white T-shirt versus Kmart’s Basic Edition $6.98 white T-shirt.

Looking to get back to the gym before the holidays? The 1 percent may go for Lululemon’s $98 yoga pants (despite the recent troubles) but the 99 percent probably is more prone to scoop up the $14.99 product at Target.

On the high-end side, experts say retailers are seeing an opportunity to snag consumers who have fared well in the weak economic recovery and now want the best—even in a toothbrush, hair dryer or coffeemaker.

“A lot of even basic items have gone premium,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, a consulting firm focused on affluent consumers. He said one company even contacted him recently about the possibility of developing a luxury detergent.

Click the link to read the entire article which includes a quote from Milton Pedraza, CEO of Luxury Institute: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101207907

November 15, 2013

Luxury Outlook 2014: Up, Down or Flat?

By Staff Reports
November 14, 2013

Luxury marketers and retailers have held their ground in a global economy still on the mend from the recent slowdown, high unemployment and growing consumer and public debt. Given this environment, what is the outlook for luxury brands in 2014?

In this free hour-long webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. ET, senior executives from the Luxury Institute, Select NY and Bloomberg Pursuits will discuss what luxury marketers can expect in the year ahead, how to craft their marketing plans accordingly and what left-field surprises to expect, if any.

“Luxury marketers know that the key to sustained growth is nurturing both brand and customer,” said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Luxury Daily, New York. “The coming year will bring its own opportunities and challenges as global events dictate the rise and fall of consumer confidence. Luxury brands must continue their focus on quality and exclusivity even as the siren call of market share beckons.”

This webinar is one in a series produced by Luxury Daily to inform and educate luxury marketers on the ins and outs of luxury marketing and retail.

Themes discussed in the webinar
• What luxury-focused brands, retailers, agencies and publishers can expect in the year ahead
• Which marketing or retail channel, if any, will be the breakout star in 2014
• Surprises ahead and how to act or react
• Lessons learned from 2013
• Crafting strategy for next year to truly embrace multichannel marketing, including social and mobile
• Three best-practice tips for luxury marketing and retailing in 2014

Panelists
Milton Pedraza, CEO, The Luxury Institute
Mike Dukmejian, publisher, Bloomberg Pursuits
Wolfgang Schaefer, global creative strategy officer, Select NY

Moderator
Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief, Luxury Daily

Attendees to the webinar can request a copy of the deck

http://www.luxurydaily.com/luxury-outlook-2014-up-down-or-flat-2/