Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Fall–Winter 2017


Luxury is back in fashion

The 16th edition of the Bain Luxury Study, published by Bain & Company for Fondazione Altagamma, the trade association of Italian luxury goods manufacturers, analyzed recent developments in the global luxury goods industry.


Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Fall–Winter 2017China Shopper Report 2017Global Diamond Report 2017



The overall luxury industry tracked by Bain comprises nine segments, led by luxury cars, luxury hospitality and personal luxury goods, which together account for more than 80% of the total market.

Considering all segments, the luxury market grew by 5% to an estimated €1.2 trillion globally in 2017. Sales of luxury cars continued to dominate the market, increasing by 6% to reach €489 billion in total. Luxury experiences remained very attractive to consumers, as illustrated by sales growth of high-end food and wine (both up 6% from last year), and sales of luxury cruises (up an impressive 14%).

The market for personal luxury goods—the "core of the core" and the focus of this analysis—reached a record high of €262 billion, boosted by a revival of purchasing by Chinese customers both at home and abroad, as well as strong trends within other customer groups and in other regions. That represented 5% growth at current exchange rates, and 6% at constant exchange rates.

Wholesale channels dominate, but retail is rising; online sales continue to climb

Wholesale remains the largest channel for personal luxury goods, accounting for roughly two-thirds of all sales. Yet the retail channel continued growing steadily—gaining 8% in 2017 alone—as companies increasingly seek to control the experience they deliver to customers. Wholesale grew by only 3%, as the strong performance of specialty stores was partially offset by the disappointing performance of department stores globally.

The relentless march toward e-commerce continued, with online sales jumping by 24% in 2017, reaching an overall market share of 9%.

The "millennialization" of luxury customers

The main growth engine of the luxury market is a generational shift, with 85% of luxury growth in 2017 fueled by Generations Y and Z. But a broader "millennial state of mind" is permeating the luxury industry and changing the purchasing habits of all generations. This shift in mindset is pushing luxury brands to redefine what they deliver to customers, and how they deliver it. As an illustration, luxury brands are reinterpreting streetwear to appeal to younger consumers. T-shirts, down jackets and sneakers were among the standout categories in 2017, growing by 25%, 15% and 10%, respectively.

Overall, shoes, jewelry and handbags ranked as the three fastest-growing product categories this year, but apparel, beauty and handbags still account for the bulk of the market.


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