Luxury Brands Face Challenges as Global Sales Slow Down

Burberry’s lacklustre quarterly results reflect a broader slowdown in luxury spending, raising concerns about the future growth of the industry.

The luxury industry is facing headwinds as global sales growth slows down, with Burberry becoming the latest brand to report lacklustre quarterly results. The company’s sales in the 12 weeks through September rose just 1 percent compared to an 18 percent jump the previous quarter. This decline in growth is not unique to Burberry, as other luxury giants such as LVMH and Richemont have also reported a significant slowdown in quarterly growth. The implications of this slowdown raise questions about the future growth prospects for luxury brands and where they can turn next for expansion.

China Holds Potential for Luxury Brands Amidst a Challenging Macroeconomic Environment

China remains a key market for luxury brands, despite the challenging macro environment. While Burberry reported a 9 percent decline in sales in Mainland China, the potential for growth in the country remains significant. The Chinese government recently announced fiscal stimulus measures to revive the country’s post-pandemic economy, which could boost consumer spending on luxury goods. However, it remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in stimulating growth.

The US Offers Potential Amidst Signs of Inflation Control

Although the US market has presented challenges for luxury brands in recent times, there are signs of potential growth. Inflation in the US is showing signs of being under control, with consumer prices rising at the slowest pace since March 2021. This could lead to the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates next year, which would free up investment and potentially increase spending on high-ticket luxury items. Additionally, luxury brands that have invested in expanding their presence in the US, particularly in cities like Austin, Atlanta, and Denver, could start to see the fruits of their efforts as these regions experience population growth and job creation.

The Outlook Beyond Next Year: A More Competitive and Complex Market

Looking ahead, the market for personal luxury goods is expected to continue growing, reaching €540 billion in 2030. However, capturing this growth will be more competitive and complex as big markets like the US and China mature. Luxury brands will need to cater to the evolving demands of consumers who seek a 360-degree luxury lifestyle, including experiences beyond fashion and beauty. Brand extensions such as hotels, museums, and restaurants could become more common. At the same time, brands will also need to find ways to reinvigorate their entry-price offerings, as aggressive price hikes in recent years have alienated some clients.

Industry News in Brief: Burberry’s Lowered Guidance, Bath & Body Works’ Trimming of Sales Forecast, and Louis Vuitton Extending Nicolas Ghesquière’s Contract

In other industry news, Burberry lowered its full-year guidance due to the global slowdown in luxury spending. Bath & Body Works also trimmed its sales forecast as demand slows into the holiday season. On a positive note, Louis Vuitton extended Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract for another five years, reflecting the brand’s strong performance under his leadership.


The luxury industry is navigating a challenging macroeconomic environment, with global sales growth slowing down. Luxury brands are facing the need to find new avenues for growth, particularly in key markets like China and the US. While China holds potential for expansion, the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus measures remains uncertain. In the US, signs of inflation control offer hope for increased consumer spending on luxury goods. Looking ahead, the luxury market is expected to continue growing, but capturing that growth will require brands to adapt to a more competitive and complex landscape. By catering to evolving consumer demands and reinvigorating their offerings, luxury brands can position themselves for success in the future.






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