Sales in the global luxury personal accessories market varies greatly by category. Not surprisingly, the segment is extremely influential in developed markets like France, Italy and Japan. Luxury was responsible for only 21% of overall personal accessories sales in 2012, with its biggest proportion seen in watches.
Jewellery and writing instruments, which have the lowest contribution from luxury brands, saw a further decrease in this percentage between 2007 and 2012. The competitive strengths of traditional jewellery retailers and low-cost pens are largely responsible for this development.
Bvlgari and Montblanc are prime examples of luxury brands which have diversified from their primary product categories of jewellery and writing instruments respectively. Both these brands are estimated to have sourced less than 50% of their 2012 global sales from their core categories.
As of 2012, the luxury segment accounted for just over 20% of global personal accessories (including sunglasses). The degree of regional development of this segment is nowhere close to that which personal accessories as a whole enjoyed in 2012.
Over the 2007-2012 period, luxury goods growth was often linked to economic optimism in individual markets. Some luxury goods leaders, such as LVMH, posted record growth in value sales over the period. However, the global market did not follow the same trend – luxury personal accessories often grew at a pace slower than lower price segments.
Luxury, and to an extent personal accessories sales, are dependent on the iconic positioning of leading brands such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Rolex. The familiarity they have established among global consumers is not only driven by advertising but also by frequent collaborations with designers and fashion shows.
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