Sales within the Dutch luxury goods market suffered in 2012 as a result of the economic recession, registering a slight rise of less than 1% in current value terms.
The financial crisis negatively impacted consumer confidence, reaching the lowest level in the past 10 years with more people being more pessimistic about future developments and conditions.
While more affluent consumers were less sensitive to the economic slowdown, most Dutch people usually assume a very cautious attitude towards spending in difficult economic times, restricting unnecessary purchases or more keenly seeking price promotions and discounts.
Demand for luxury goods was impacted by a trend towards standard products with intensified competition in the retail channel with price promotions and offers, creating greater competition as occurred back in 2009 during the time of the financial crisis.
Luxury goods manufacturers were forced to resort to price discounting in order to stem the fall in demand, resulting in lower average unit prices for most categories during this period. Dutch consumers pulled back from purchasing luxury goods, but their willingness to buy remained high encouraged by a general interest in quality, brands and the fact that products are seen as fashion items.
Manufacturers aimed to counteract this trend through the introduction of more extensions that carried higher prices in an attempt to maintain the market dynamic despite the recession.
The Dutch luxury goods market remains highly fragmented with mainly international brands gaining the largest distribution presence and their position reinforced by continuing support in terms of advertising and new product development. Manufacturers appealed for more frequent collections and special editions, in a quest to stimulate demand.
Leading international brands are preferred by most Dutch consumers in most categories but smaller Dutch niche brands are also growing in popularity such as Van Lier and Marlies Dekkers or Gaastra in apparel or Van der Gang in watches. The Dutch value domestic brands as they are symbols of quality and exclusivity as in some cases they are produced in limited numbers.
For more information on the Dutch luxury goods market, see the latest research: Dutch Luxury Goods Market
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