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Buying Luxury-An obsession or a trend

At the opening press conference of BaselWorld 2012 it became clear that despite the worldwide economic slowdown the luxury watch industry is booming. After a disastrous year in 2009, sales have recovered and the Swiss export of wristwatches hit a record with 19.2 percent growth, reaching a turnover of 19.3 billion Swiss Francs for last year. According to the Exhibitors’ Committee Report, more than half of the 30 million watches exported worldwide went to the Far East.
Another Luxury Goods Market Study by Bain&Company predicts an equally rosy future for the global jewelry market – a 5.8 per cent rise from 2010 and total of 147 billion in 2011. Much of this growth is driven by China’s and India’s ravenous appetite for prestige brands as well as a doubling in the ranks of the middle class in the same countries by 2020. According to several studies, China's middle class is already larger than the entire population of the United States. Despite the growing purchasing potential of the emerging markets, USA and Europe still account for the largest share of the worldwide luxury goods market: Germany, France and Italy with 39 percent and USA with 48 percent of the market.
The question, however, about the high demand for luxury goods in times of nuclear disaster in Japan, civil war in Libya, never ending Greek debt, slowdown in emerging markets, political and economic craziness in the US and EU remains.  Why do consumers seem not to mind the price tags and the deep dig in their wallets in such insecure times? Read more about luxury brands from an insider's point of view in the interview with Nadia Miller, Vice President of La Prairie International who is also responsible for brand development and international marketing of the Swiss brand. 
Tsitaliya Mircheva
Resources: World One, International watch and jewellery journal
Luxury Society Blog
"The cult of Luxury Brands"
by Radha Chadha & Paul Husband

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