The market for second-hand luxury goods is not new, but it has become one of the fastest growing luxury trends in recent years. Powerful luxury brands are opening their flagship stores to promote affordable luxury. From the familiar logos of high-end brands like Louis Vuitton and Bulgari to more affordable brands like Gucci and Chanel, "affordable luxury" is having a moment.
The global luxury goods market is expected to grow steadily, with potentially large players focusing heavily on the manufacture of affordable luxury goods to attract emerging market consumers. As the market for "affordable luxury" continues to grow, products such as watches, jewelry, clothing and accessories are available at a lower price than ever before. One of the main reasons for the fast-growing market for affordable luxury goods in China is the presence of foreign brands that are just starting to gain a foothold in China or have not yet arrived.
Of course, different people have different definitions of affordable luxury, and each brand has its own values, and so we agree that a clear definition of "affordable luxury" is not easy. For example, there is no need to offer an affordable "luxury bed" at the price, as it is unlikely to be sold at a straight luxury price.
Affordable luxury, on the other hand, focuses on creating high-quality, versatile products that will remain fashionable for years to come. This poses a challenge for accessible luxury brands, which must take up trends and offer them at a slightly more accessible price, otherwise consumers will feel they are buying copycat products today. If this cannot be achieved, affordable luxury will become less attractive to consumers and they will more often opt for cheaper, more expensive - effective brands.
Affordable luxury offers a unique opportunity to the upper and middle classes, and their personalized, stylish, and affordable luxury brands will be at their best. These are garments that have proven themselves over time and offer the best of both worlds, but are as accessible as desirable.
Mulberry may want to lose some of the affordable luxury brands they have in China, but they still have a way to go. To counter items that challenge the fact that affordable luxury brands have a limited lifespan, the brand concept of affordability is not foolproof.
Brands must therefore look for ways to offer consumers more affordable luxury while remaining true to their values and goals. Resale websites can serve luxury brands as an attractive tool to connect with second-hand buyers of luxury goods who do not yet have access to the primary luxury market and build loyalty to future primary customers of luxury goods. Luxury resale also supports the luxury brand by offering an alternative to traditional retail outlets such as department stores and online retailers. Affordable luxury goods, after all, include products that enable a greater number of consumers to better understand the brand and have the chance to buy luxury goods at a lower price than their main customer.
Apple, which is not a luxury brand, has been immensely successful in applying its luxury strategy to a market where the pure luxury market is no longer just a niche, even if it is beautiful, as Vertu has shown with the mobile phone. As a trend, other levels of luxury goods are emerging alongside the absolute, unattainable luxury that more affordable luxury brands such as Apple, Mercedes-Benz and BMW can achieve.
For cars, watches and fashion accessories, new luxury consumers prefer to buy cheap, high-end luxury products to trade with lower-level luxury brands. Consumers now have access to what is called "reusable luxury," which is no longer taboo, a revolution that lowers the price. Rather than being confined to elite consumers at a price, neo-luxury goods can generate higher sales volumes at higher prices than other products in the same product category. This situation has created a market for affordable luxury brands that may never have been available in China before.
The average age of affordable luxury buyers is lower than that of typical upper-end luxury buyers, and young people buy affordable luxury before they go to work. Affordable luxury homes are bringing luxury living to the middle class by giving buyers what they want, not just artificially created standards.
Fast-paced Fashion brands can meet the demands of quality and design, but traditional luxury brands are still luxury for the majority of consumers in China. Some experts believe that traditional US low-cost brands are lagging behind US brands - that is, affordable luxury. There is a tendency to accept lesser-known - well-known affordable luxury brands in the US such as Gucci, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, as well as more expensive brands such as Chanel.
Here are two brands that should be considered luxury but are labeled affordable luxury in China. To achieve a premium over conventional products, they are priced significantly above super- and older luxury goods.