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What’s Driving Luxury Market Consolidation? A Closer Look

2 min read

In the dynamic world of luxury branding, consolidation has become a hallmark trend. Just within the last month, we’ve seen Tapestry announce their acquisition of Capri Holdings to consolidate their foothold in the American market and scale better to increase their international reach, and global luxury house Kering adding a 30% stake in Valentino, with an option to purchase the entire brand in the future. What’s driving this consolidation? Behind this shift lies a combination of economic, strategic, and consumer behavior forces. We took a closer look. 

For starters, let’s examine the rising costs of launching a luxury brand. The financial demands of kickstarting and marketing a high-end brand are significant. This financial bulwark isn’t just due to the hefty price tags of advertising to create the necessary cache and awareness, but is also intertwined with the imperative of establishing a formidable global footprint both in terms of retail storefronts and establishing a supply chain capable of delivering on the high end. Add to that the necessity for digital marketing and a comprehensive omnichannel digital presence, and the financial terrain appears even more challenging. It’s becoming evident that for fresh luxury entrants, going head-to-head with the seasoned giants is a monumental task.

But it’s not just about money. Success in the luxury sector demands gravitas – a scale that ensures a brand doesn’t just exist but thrives. Without existing connections to build on, this is even more challenging. To pour money into impactful marketing, to broaden distribution networks, and to truly tap into the economies of scale, brands need muscle. Here’s where consolidation steps in as a game changer. By merging resources, multiple brands can share a larger piece of the luxury pie, gaining the much-needed scale to contend effectively.

Another angle is the evolution of the luxury consumer. Gone are the days when the opulence of a brand logo alone would drive sales. Today’s luxury enthusiasts seek more; they yearn for brands that resonate with their ethos, offering experiences that are as authentic as they are unique. And as brands strive to cater to this refined palate, consolidation grants them a broader base to work from. It allows them to diversify their product and service offerings, enabling the creation of more tailored, personal experiences that today’s discerning luxury aficionado craves.

Additionally, there are probably some lasting effects of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luxury rebounded faster than many industries, but hasn’t been immune to its global upheaval. The dipping sales and shuttered storefronts of the COVID shutdown meant even the luxury landscape was jolted, likely sparking conversations among many to consider the benefits of consolidation as a strategy to pare down expenses and streamline operations – behind-the-scenes negotiations that sometimes take years to come to fruition, and could still be leading to announcements now.

As we navigate the evolving luxury domain, it’s safe to say that such consolidations are not mere blips but indicators of a trend that’s poised to shape the future of luxury branding. Whether you’re part of a luxury brand that wants to ensure it has the resources to stay flourishing and independent or working with a full suite of luxury brands, XY Retail omnichannel platform helps brands reduce costs, improve efficiency and seamlessly integrate their point-of-sale, OMS, clienteling and other essential operations to thrive in today’s competitive environment. Contact us to learn more.