Within its 15th edition, Osservatorio Altagamma 2014 has just released its most recent results in terms of future evolution, megatrends and forecasts of sales of the haute de gamme global markets.

According to the Altagamma Consensus 2015 study they expect that all luxury product categories will register an average growth of about +5% for 2015. Leather goods, shoes and accessories show the highest increase rate (+6%), while slower sales are expected from apparel (+4%), and perfumes and cosmetics (+4%).

All markets are expected to grow. Most significant growth will happen in Asia, Middle East and rest of the world (+6%). Japan expects consumption to increase 5%, while Europe, Northern America and Latin America will register +4% growth.

The “Monitor Altagamma on worldwide markets” study by Bain & Company and Altagamma expect markets will continue growing, though according to slower and long-term rates, rather than in the past, though more sustainably, also referred to as the emerging of a “new normal” development characterized by a stable attention for luxury goods by Chinese consumers who remain protagonists of the worldwide market with a 29% share. Plus they register a renewed interest for luxury goods from more mature markets such as, for instance, from US and Japan.

In 2013, the worldwide luxury market registered sales for €218 billion. Estimates for 2014 expect a +5% growth with sales of about € 223 billion. Growth is driven especially by the retail channel (32% of the total market), with the monobrand format representing 52% of the total. The online channel is the best performer in terms of growth (+28%).

Among best-selling categories there are accessories (especially footwear), while “hard luxury” such as watches, are slowing down.

“We are now facing a strong polarization phenomenon within the luxury segment and the defining of two major segments – absolute luxury and accessible luxury – and the consequent growth of that important segment we can call ‘Alternative to luxury’,” commented Claudia D’Arpizio, Bain &Co. “This new segment is made up of those upper premium brands that aspire to belong to the luxury segment and offer products with an image and status that is superior to their average products.”

Generally, also the luxury market is showing always greater attention for price-quality ratio products – especially in more mature markets where budgets are being reduced. Also second-hand goods are recalling great attention and counting for an estimated €16 billion value. “If on the one side this phenomenon might appear as a menace for the market of new goods, on the other side it helps transforming luxury goods into durable objects with a well-defined and growing resell value that can also help increase new products’ value.”