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The fascinating evolution of luxury retail

It’s been an exciting week at Reebonz! Just a couple of days ago, we launched the 2016 Asia Luxury Index – a first-of-its-kind in depth report based on sales data and industry reports that looks at how the balance of power in the luxury landscape is shifting towards the online channel. One of our most interesting findings? That while the luxury market is dominated by heritage heavyweights like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès, cult brands with niche followings are quickly chalking up their share of the pie too. Think Givenchy, a Kardashian favourite, and Balenciaga, whose City bags are a staple on arms in the streets – both labels driven to omnipresence with heavy endorsements by celebrities and fashion editors.

A growing love for luxury
Did you know that shoppers spent 50% more on luxury items in 2015 compared to the previous year? In particular, shoes were on the receiving end of the impressive demand, with the volume of shoes splurged on by Reebonz members increasing 87% year on year.

It’s unsurprising that the collective love for fashion is steadily burgeoning, but what’s to credit for the growth in luxury expenditure? This varies from country to country, but Indonesia’s abolishing of taxes on luxury and Singapore’s increase in high net worth individuals with larger spending power were some contributing factors.

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Consumption patterns have also evolved, as Millennials turn increasingly to digital channels and social media to conduct the routine research that precedes purchase. Their purchase isn’t just a destination on their map of luxury desires. Rather, it’s a comprehensive journey that involves seeking value-added services and resale marketplaces, all of which happen online.

These trends have rippled through the shifting landscape, but Reebonz has been at the forefront of catering to the changing demands with our luxury ecosystem, comprising services and experiences that serve their needs at every point.

The luxury stock exchange
The brands that shoppers have an affinity for has also evolved. Powerhouse brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada have cemented their statuses as heavyweights over decades of executing stellar craftsmanship and innovation, but niche brands are increasingly gaining in favour too.

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Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, for instance, have a cult following for some of the key pieces in their portfolio, and are two of the most in-demand brands on Reebonz. The versatile and edgy Balenciaga City bag is a winner with clear appeal in its vintage Lambskin leather façade and unique hardware studs. Saint Laurent, on the other hand, has undergone a stream of conspicuous aesthetic changes under the charge of the recently departed Creative Director Hedi Slimane – but fans have remained nonetheless steadfast in their fondness for the brand.

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When it comes to the luxury landscape, the only constant is change. Just as fascinating as the evolution of the entire environment in which brands and retailers operate is the shift of shopper behavior. But one thing is sure to remain steady – the continually growing love for luxury.

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