What is it?
This is something we have observed on our recent travels through South-East Asia: the rise of a new Asian luxury market. In the past, few people in Asia weren’t able to afford to shop at global luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Hermes or Prada. But as incomes rise, so is demand, and Asia’s luxury market is thriving.
Is that changing the street scene in Asia’s big cities?
Definitely. Bangkok now even has a series of ‘luxury malls’ which are trying to compete with the Champs Elysées in Paris and London’s Regent Street. Cities like Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are now vying to become not just regional, but global shopping destinations. Luxury malls, boutiques and flagship stores selling haute couture, accessories, bags and cases, cosmetics and fragrances, vehicles, utility gadgets, beverages and interior decoration products are everywhere.
What’s more, and what’s more interesting to us, is that it’s not just European luxury brands but also local brands tapping into this trend. As you walk down the street here in Bangkok you first have the impression that it’s wall-to-wall Chanel, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren and Burberry, but look a bit closer and you also find cool local designers pushing their way to the front row. We even discovered an entire mall dedicated to up-and-coming local designer brands.
So how big is this trend?
It’s huge and set to grow further:
The Asia Pacific region currently accounts for over one third of the global luxury goods market and the region is expected to account for nearly half of total global luxury goods sales in coming years.
Watch this space and get ready to rethink your destination when you book your next shopping holiday!
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