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The luxury market outlook remains uncertain in the US and China

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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A Gucci boutique in New York's Wooster Street Credits: Pablo Enriquez

The luxury fashion industry is grappling with significant market uncertainties, particularly as the crucial Chinese and US markets encounter challenges. Despite LVMH's robust revenue postings - with its performance seen as indicative of broader luxury sector trends - concerns persist about a potential replay of the boom and bust cycle witnessed last year.

Bloomberg notes that China's expected post-reopening surge failed to materialize due to consumer caution, compounded by issues such as the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, tech job cuts, and rising interest rates impacting luxury spending in the US. While LVMH has displayed signs of recovery, there are assertions that the pace might be too rapid, considering the persisting challenges in China and uncertainties in the US market.

The prospect of a positive turnaround in the US luxury market is pivotal for investors, yet weakened spending on luxury items in January poses a challenge, according to Bloomberg. Factors such as the upcoming US election and uncertainties surrounding the Olympics in Paris add complexity, potentially disrupting luxury tourism.

Luxury valuations alone may not offer a comprehensive outlook. While giants like Hermes thrive, others, such as Kering, currently undergoing a makeover of its revenue-driver brand Gucci, confront challenges. Burberry's transformation under designer Daniel Lee has yet to translate into significant gains. Despite a remarkable run, the luxury sector's resilience hinges on a renewed consumer appetite, particularly in key markets like China and the US.