After demonetisation & GST, Indian luxury market now hit by stock and currency fluctuations

  • 06-Nov-2018
  • After demonetisation & GST, Indian luxury market now hit by stock and currency fluctuations

The Deauville’s wait list is backed up to a 100 people. Chanel has sold every single piece of its $4,000 chic, casual shopping tote bag in its stock in India. This isn’t a statement bag like a graffiti doused Louis Vuitton limited edition monogrammed canvas Stephen Sprouse Speedy. It’s not even a party bag like an embossed Gucci or a Balenciaga clutch, and certainly a far cry from the famed Birkin cache — always a collectable doit avoir. 

even if they have to wait many months to get their hands on one ever since Bollywood divas Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone were seen “flaunting their athleisure airport look.” The brand’s store, its flagship in India, is moving addresses right now from a boutique five-star hotel to DLF’s glitzy new The Chanakya in the capital. 

Meanwhile in Emporio, also owned by the DLF, the hubbub has intensified. After Polo, Manhattan’s swishiest hipster Ralph Lauren is due to launch his flagship  store this year end. Alexander Mcqueen – eponymous label of the late iconoclast East Ender who ruffled the haughty Parisian haute couture – too is believed to be opening soon in partnership with Radha Kapoor’s Doit Creations. And in case you didn’t notice, LV has added another floor for menswear after its successful pop up in the beginning of the year. 

Anjali Gaekwar, India country manager at Christian Louboutin, we are told, has just returned from a successful trunk show in Hyderabad,  where the brand’s designer redlacquered soles are as much a rage as the latest Erdem jacquard cape. And in Mumbai’s Palladium, Canali’s deep blue nawab suits are flying off the racks this Diwali, even before the wedding season fully kicks in. 

“We are having the best run of our lives after five years of struggle,” says Cecilia Morelli Parikh, a former buyer at Bergdorf Goodman turned co-founder of Mumbai-based luxury store Le Mill that retails several trendy global fashion houses like Saint Laurent, Celine and Balmain. “Last month, our topline grew 4X year-on-year.” This month though it is likely to be a different story for most. 


If sentiment drives shopping, it faced yet another setback. Just when the whole industry was adapting to a new normal — coming off a long period of trough after disruptions like demonetisation and doubling of duties — the welter of negative macro headwinds and news flows is bound to impact any positive vibes or buoyancy creeping back in the market. 

“Buying luxury is an emotional experience. When the mood is sombre, how can sales volumes rise?” asks the local country head of a marquee global fashion house. “The spending decision of a large portion of our top clients does get influenced by the stock market fluctuations. It’s not that they have become poorer overnight but before splurging on Rs 2.5 lakh accessory, they may pause or instead of buying four, pick two. Even Indian billionaires are value conscious.” 

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