UK consumers splashing out on luxury fashion to get through COVID-19, data shows

Lux goods

Consumers across the UK are comfort buying more luxury goods online to help them get them through the COVID-19 crisis, new data shows.

Tech firm Emarsys reports worldwide spending went up 57% on luxury fashion items online last week year on year — with leather goods such as handbags and high-end trainers seeing the highest consistent in demand in the UK.

The online sales of luxury items are helping to offset the closure of physical stores across the world, which consultancy firm Bain & Company is predicting will result in a year-on-year decline of up to 35% in the global luxury market in 2020.

Many brands like Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton don’t sell their full range online, instead preferring to prioritise the in-store luxury experiences, which could prove damaging longterm during this crisis.

Alex Timlin, Senior Vice President of Verticals at Emarsys, who has been analysing the data said: “The vast majority of consumers are going through a tough time at the moment, and while you might expect sales of luxury goods online to go down as people tighten their belts, our data shows that it’s going up.

“I appreciate that ecommerce isn’t going to help every brand in the world right now, but it can be a serious help in offsetting the damage caused by lost sales in physical stores while we navigate this global crisis. Many luxury brands believe that a luxury sell can’t be done effectively online — but during this time, those brands may have no choice but to reconsider the channels through which they sell.”