Fashionistas can smell blood. Luxury brands need to find ways to unload their growing pile of unsold stock without reeking of desperation.
The luxury industry is slowing as shoppers sober up after their pandemic spending spree. In 2022, sales across the sector rose by 15% at constant exchange rates, according to Bain & Company estimates. But U.S. shoppers tightened their belts toward the end of last year, and Europeans followed this summer. The Chinese haven’t been spending as much as brands hoped either since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in January. This year’s growth rate is expected to be around half what the industry managed in 2022.