LUXURY LEATHER GOODS

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1 LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS JANUARY 13 TH 2012 BY: Violeta Cebreros

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3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank professor Dr. Ingo Böbel for shareing his knowledge and for his invaluable support and guidance. Deepest gratitude are also due to all other professors at the IUM since all aspects come into play when doing a comprehensive industry analysis.

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The objective of the present industry analysis is to provide an overview of the main trends and characteristics of the luxury leather goods industry to further understand the underlying drivers of supply, demand and ultimately profitability in the sector. All the data collected for the industry analysis was obtained through extensive research on Internet and, thus all sources are primary source such as reports from Euromonitor, Datamonitor, Bain & Company, MillwardBrown, BCG, etc. Luxury leather goods comprise a subcategory of luxury accessories and typically refer to products such as handbags, wallets and belts made out of high quality leather. The category of luxury leather goods is estimated at a value of 28 billion for 2011, while the global personal luxury goods markets is estimated at a value of 191 billion for Todays post-recession economic environment is favorable for the luxury market, with demand soaring due to an economic boom in emerging markets, especially China. However, high taxes in the Asia-Pacific markets have lead to price differentiation and lower margins for the companies. Another industry trend that has led to lower margins is the cost increases due to steep price increases of high-quality leather hides provoked by scarcity, leading many of the companies to seek vertical integration with suppliers to ensure their supply. Moreover, demand has also experienced an increase due to a shift in the demand due to a change in consumer preferences. Increasing consumer consciousness has swifted preferences away from ostentatious consumption and towards the high-end classic products which are considered durable. In terms of competitiveness, the luxury leather goods sector is competitive due to the large number of brands in the market, which find the industry attractive due to the high profit margins.

5 However, differences amongst products and sellers exist- conglomerates and single-brand companies, core business in fashion or core business in leather goods, artisanal production or fabric production and, finally, brand. In the luxury leather goods sectors brand image is a key differentiating factor amongst firms, specially since it commands a premium and builds on customer loyalty. Key players in the industry include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Hermès and the likes. Although most key players are of European origin they all compete at a global scale. Most luxury brands have built a considerable network of directly-operated boutiques which give them more control over their distribution, hoever, they still rely on department stores to broaden their scope and specially to reach emerging markets where brands are still to set their own operations. Overall, the luxury leather goods industry is thriving and is expected to continue growing in years to come. For brands to maintain their positioning and market share they embrace the new consumer trends and adapt their business strategiy to remain profitable. They must move away from affordable luxury and focus on absolute luxury products, this will allow them to find a better balance between demand and supply, reducing some of the strain on supply provoked by the scarcity of high-quality leather. With this change the gap between supply and demand is reduced in terms of volume but not value as constumers are now purchasing a higher price-point, which will also lead to higher margins for the companies. TABLE OF CONTENTS

6 I. INTRODUCTION II.THE LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY KEY FIGURES 3 III.MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT SHAPING THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE FOR THE LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY 4 PESTEL ANALYSIS 4 IV.COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS MARKET STRUCTURE 10 KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS 10 THE FIVE FORCES MODEL 16 INDUSTRY DYNAMICS & INTERACTION AMONGST PLAYERS 21 V.DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS SUPPLY OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS 23 DEMAND OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS 24 VI.CONSUMERS AND CONSUMER TRENDS-WHO ARE THEY? WHAT DO THEY WANT? WHY DO THEY BUY? VII. CONCLUSION 28 VIII. REFERENCES 30 IX. APPENDIX 1

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8 LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS I. INTRODUCTION The main objective of the following report is to provide a snapshot of the luxury leather goods sector today. What does it include? Who are the major players? Why and what are consumers buying? All of the information collected for the industry analysis is product of extensive research on Internet, it all consists of primary sources such as reports on the luxury industry, leather goods and luggage industry, brand power, etc. In the first section The luxury leather goods industry the scope of the industry is defined and key figures of the industry are provided. In the second section Macroeconomic environment shaping the business landscape for the luxury leather goods industry there is an overview of the overall environment in the industry along the six areas considered in the PESTEL analysisis. In section three Competitive analysis the market structure, key players and industry dynamics are observed. In section four Demand and supply of luxury leather goods aspects of the demand and supply are touched on. Finally on section five Consumers and consumer trends-who are they? what do they want? why do they buy? a description of the luxury consumers and there motivations, as well as changes in consumer preferences are explained. 1

9 II. THE LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY First and foremost, to realize this industry analysis it is important to define what the luxury leather goods industry encompasses. Now a days, you can find luxury products across a number of industries, making it very difficult to accurately estimate the value of the total luxury market and any of its specific sectors. Furthermore, the concept of luxury is subjective. For some luxury relys on superior quality, for some premium-price and for others brand image, thus leading to discrepancys among different sources. However, in general, reports consider a combination of these elements to determine the value of the different categories; according to Euromonitor 1 the categories which comprise the luxury market are: Designer Clothing and Footwear, Luxury Accessories, Luxury Jewellery and Timepieces, Luxury Travel Goods, Luxury Tobacco, Fine Wines/ Champagne and Spirits, Super-premium Beauty and Personal Care, Luxury Fine China and Crystal Ware, Luxury Writing Instruments and Stationery and Luxury Electronic Gadgets. Once relegated to second-class fashion status, accessories now share the spotlight with apparel designs. 2 Leather goods make a significant part of the accessories industry alongside footwear, hosiery, gloves, hats, scarves, ties, shawls, scarves, handkerchiefs, wallets, suspenders, eyewear and hair ornaments. However, leather goods comprise most of the category, with products such as handbags, luggage, wallets and belts typically made out of leather. 1 Euromonitor International (2011), How Global is the Global Luxury Goods Market. May Diamond, J. and Diamond, E., The World Of Fashion,, Fairchild Books, Inc. New York, 4th Edition,

10 KEY FIGURES The value of the global personal luxury goods market was reported at 191 billion for 2011 by Bain & Co. up 10% from the previous year 3. In the same report luxury leather goods are estimated at 28 billion for 2011 (Exhibit 1 & 2). Luxury leather goods is a rapidly growing category, with a 16% growth from 2010 to The leather goods category is at times also grouped with luggage, with bags, wallets and purses accounting for 57.1% of the global luggage and leather goods market in 2009 according to Datamonitor 4. Further information of sales shares by geographic area are presented in the table 1. Data for the luggage and leather goods market from 2009 and more current numbers for the global personal luxury goods market in 2011 are presente. Although placed in the same table, the idea is not to compare them as the information is not precisely comparable, but to form an idea of how luxury leather goods sales take place globally. Table 1- Sale Shares By Geographic Area Global Luggage And Leather Goods Market Segmentation % Share By Value In 2009 Global Personal Luxury Goods Market Segmentation % By Value In 2011 Americas 52.3% 30.0% Europe 24.0% 36.0% Asia-Pacific 23.8% 29.0% Rest of the World - 5.0% Source: Self-elaborated As can be observed from the table, Europe and Americas are the most important markets for luxury, however, Europe and the U.S. are mature markets which limits the possibilities of growth in the markets. On the other hand, we can observe Asia-Pacific has experienced a boom in luxury consumption. 3 Claudia D Arpizio, Altagamma 2011 Worldwide Markets Monitor. Bain & Company and Fondazione Altagamma. October Datamonitor, Industry Profile: Global Luggage and Leather Goods. June

11 III. MACROECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT SHAPING THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE FOR THE LUXURY LEATHER GOODS INDUSTRY Overall luxury is a thriving industry, now recovering from the economic crisis of the past years. Starting in 2008, the global macroeconomic downturn lead to low consumer confidence and change in consuption patterns, affecting the luxury goods market. The year 2009 proved to be a specially difficult year when the luxury industry value plummeted to 153 billion, down from 170 billion in However, 2010 was a rebound year with a growth of 13% driven by emerging markets, especially China, and 2011 brought an additional 10% growth bringing the industry up to 191 billion, an all time high for the personal luxury goods market. PESTEL ANALYSIS In the following PESTEL analysis we go into details of the macroeconomic environment shapping the luxury leather goods market. Although PESTEL analysis usually are focused in a specific country and industry, the following analysis attempts to highlight the most relevant global factors since most of the information concerning the luxury market is in global terms, however, there is a slight focus on the U.S. market as it remains the number one market for luxury valued at 48.1 in 2010 according to Bain & Co. POLITICAL FACTORS Global economic development is tied to politics more than ever, since in the face of an economic crisis governments throught the world had to take actions to safeguard their economies. Politicians have had to rethink the involvement of their countries in the economic reform. Since 2009 it was decided that the G20 group, composed of the major economies in the world, including countries with emerging markets, would serve as the 4

12 board of directors on decisions concerning the global economy. It was the U.S. s Preseident Obama, who initiated the move to transfer responsabilities from the G8, composed of the eight most developed countrie 5, to the G20. Politics also play a fundamental role in foreign trade, making it extremely relevant for the luxury market whose companies are for the most part based in Europe, but depend mainly of foreign sales. Although the U.S. and the EU are very integrated and together account for approximately half of the global GDP and for nearly a third of world trade flows, in recent years President Obama has rethought foreign-policy and focused on the the Asia-Pacific region. An other element to consider when thinking about foreign-policy is the challenge imposed by the emergence of electronic commerce which is not fully regularized yet. In the specific case of U.S. its political and economic importance in the global sphere have placed it high on the list of nations susceptible to terrorist attacks. This is especially relevant to the luxury industry since most sales depend on tourism. Chinese tourists visiting New York and Hawaii are an especially important segment since there consumption is growing. ECONOMIC FACTORS The global luxury leather goods market had a reported value of 28 billion in 2011, performing above the average. A economic boom in emerging markets such as the BRIC 6 countries, México and the Asia-Pacific region are driving the demand for luxury goods. 5 G8- the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Italy and Russia 6 BRCI countries- Brazil, Russia, China and India 5

13 The year 2010 marked the rebound for the global personal luxury goods market, showing the first signs of growth after the economic crisis. The year 2011 also had a double digit growth. However, for the following years the CAGR is forcasted to be of 6-7% reaching billion in The recovery in sales is reflected in an increase in brand power. Recent steep increases in leather prices have affected companies margins. Leading to companies rethinking their reliance in the leather goods sector. The high taxes in the Asia-Pacific markets such as Japan and India have lead to price differentiation and lower margins, with the companies absorbing some of the costs of exporting the products into foreign countries rather than completely passing them on to the customers. SOCIAL FACTORS Fashion and leather goods have more than practical functions, they also act as a signifier of socio-economic class and a way of displaying individual identity and group identities, which make clothing and accessories essential to consumers. Brand loyalty exists, especially towards the top end of the industry since it is easier for customers to form emotional attachements to luxury brands and luxury goods, since their durability and elevated prices make customers think more about the purchse. Fashion and leather good retailers can differentiate themselves quite strongly through the styles and designs of their goods. Even un-known designers can become successful from one collection to another due to the unpredictable nature of fashion. Products are determined by designers, sub-cultures and are subject to sharp and unpredictable changes. 6

14 Increasing consumer consciousness and switch in consumer preferences, especially in mature markets, has shifted the demand away from ostentatious consumption- affordable luxury- and towards the high-end classics absolute luxury. Self-indulgance has lead the newly established middle class in the emerging markets to sample luxury via entry-level luxury products, which work as a gateway to absolute luxury products. Accessories, including leather goods, are perfect for this entry-level phenomenon. Consumer are realizing that status can be expressed by lifestyle and experiences, rather than by luxury goods. This has given way to an increase in the importance of the luxury experience, mainly in-store, through additional services such as personal shoppers, etc. experiences that offer the mid-market the chance to be treated as someone very special. Younger consumer base, due to the fact that in emerging markets the younger population has higher income. Consumers are now looking for responsibly sourced luxury as they are becoming more sensitive about sustainable development, fair-trade and environmentally friendly products. It is important to notice that consumers are willing to pay a premium to back their values. Companies such as Stella McCartney are pioneers in this new environment with products marketed as 100% certified organic, natural and not tested on animals. Additionally, social responsibility is an increasingly important dimension of wealth as there is a noticeable link between wealth bands and philanthropy. TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS In terms of production technology is not a key elements, since in luxury products the elements of craftsmanship are a key. 7

15 Luxury brands, particularly within the fashion and leather goods categories, are finally looking at online potential. Premium store environments are still key to luxury positioning but, increasingly, websites are being used to engage customers and provide accessibility as demand expands in emerging markets. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS Leather has a considerable environmental impact as it shares responsibility for the environmental damages caused by the meat industry and the contamination caused by the toxins used in tanning. Since companies cannot produce their products without harming the environment, they can counteract the damage by engaging in other Corporate Social Responsibility activities, like charity. Protection of ecosystems to ensure the resources necessary for production is also a concer for companies as they are already experiencing a scarcity of quality leather hides and struggling to keep up production, specially in the case of some exotic leathers. Carbon footprint due to green house gas emissions during every day operations of the business: lighting, air conditioning in stores, transport of products, etc. LEGESLATIVE FACTORS The World Bank s 2011 Doing Business report ranked the U.S. fifth with regards to ease of doing business. The country's economic policies are generally pro-business and its financial regulatory system is well developed, with the financial markets being open to competition. 8

16 In October 2007 the U.S., the European Union, Switzerland and Japan announced that they would negotiate a new intellectual property enforcement treaty the Anti- Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. Most leather comes from developing countries such as India and China, where animal welfare laws are either non-existent or not enforced. The legal environment and regulation in the Asia-Pacific region are very strict and limit the way brands can enter the markets, as well as increasing the costs of operation through regulations concerning taxation. IV. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS The luxury leather goods sector is competitive because of the large number of competitors in the market. All though not all major players were originally focused on leather goods and accessories, the great economic appeal of the luxury leather goods sector, which generally commands the highest margins, has lead most high-end fashion brands to expanded their their product lines to include fashion accessories. As can be seen from a report from Fondazione Altagamma 7 leather goods perform over the average and are the most represented firms in the top ten performers according to EBIT margin, with companies sucha as Coach, Hermès, Prada and Tod s making the ranking. The average ROI for leather goods companies was 17.7% in 2010, making it the best performing category both in terms of sales growth and profitability. 7 Armando Branchini, A. and Varacca Capello, P. (2011), Fashion & Luxury Insight FY 2010 Results. Fondazione Altagamma and SDA Bocconi, October

17 MARKET STRUCTURE Competition in the leather goods market is far from perfect competition as products in the category are greatly differentiated in many ways such as, type of product (handbags, wallets, belts, etc.), brand, price and design. Differences among sellers also exist as firms differ in size, with an obvious difference between the size of conglomerates and single-brand companies. Other differences arise in terms of production costs derived from the origin and quality of inputs used and the level of craftsmanship the products confer. Additionally, in the luxury leather goods sectors brand image is a key differentiating factor amongst firms, since it is a crucial element in their ability to command premium-prices from consumers. KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS Since the late 1980 s the fashion apparel and accessories industries have increasingly become more and more concentrated due to the formation of luxury conglomerates. Todays competitive environment is determined by strong competition at brand level with the top 5 brands accounting for 21% of the total personal luxury goods market in 2010, leading to the increasing concentration of the industry with conglomerates fighting to have a wide array of brands in the hopes of cautivating a broader range of consumers. In 2010, the top 5 luxury groups accounted for 35% of the total personal luxury goods market according to the Bain & Co. report. The drive for consolidation is further supported by the finding in the Fondazione Altagamma report which clearly show the financial benefits of size. In 2010, companies with an average size of 5 billion or more proved to be the most profitable in according to their EBIT margin and ROI as well as having a better cash flow than their smaller competitors. Risk is also something to take into 10

18 account, since size gave bigger companies better financial estability, a very important factor to ride out the crisis and thrive in the current favorable yet still volatile post-recession environment. Thus, in understanding the industry it is important to begin with the identification of multibrand players and single-brand players, as well as categorizing brands according to their core business, separating those whose core business is apparel from those mainly in the leather goods business, and finally, it is important to classify brands depending on the level of luxury, which mainly depends on the craftsmanship and exclusivity. This typology allows us to identify where the added value of every particular brand lays. It is also important to understand the importance of the brands heritage and story when it comes to luxury brands, as it is an intrinsic part of the brand image. As previously mentioned, we will see that there is various players at the brand level. Even though several of them belong to the same luxury groups, since in the luxury industry the brand is such an important element of differentiation and value for customers, generally brands are managed independently to respect the brand identity. Thus, we must identify them as separate players. It is important to mention, that al though Richemont is the second largest luxury group in the personal luxury goods market, it is not a strong player in the luxury leather goods sector since it only participates with Lancel, which has been struggling to position itself as a luxury brand. 11

19 Table 2- Key Industry Players At Brand Level Company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA Gucci Group NV Subsidary of PPR Brand Core Business- Origial Bussines Craftsmanship & Exclusivity Country And Year Of Origin Louis Vuitton Leather Goods- Luggage ** France 1854 Loewe Leather Goods- Leather specialist *** Spain 1846 Marc Jacobs Fashion- R-T-W ** U.S Fendi Leather Goods- Handbags *** Italy 1925 Gucci Leather Goods- Leather specialist ** Italy 1921 Bottega Veneta Leather Goods- Leather specialist *** Italy 1966 YSL Fashion- R-T-W ** France 1961 Balenciaga Fashion- Couture *** Spain 1919 PRADA S.p.A. Prada Leather Goods- Leather specialist ** Italy 1913 Miu Miu Fashion- R-T-W ** Italy 1993 Hermès International Hermès Leather Goods- Saddles *** France 1837 Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A. Valentino Fashion- Couture * Italy 1960 Chanel S.A. Chanel Fashion- Haute couture ** France 1909 Burberry Group Burberry Fashion- Gabardine * UK Plc 1856 Christian Dior Christian Dior Fashion- Haute couture ** France 1946 Salvatore Salvatore Fashion- Shoes *** Italy Ferragamo Ferragamo 1927 S.p.A. Mulberry Group Mulberry Leather Goods- Leather * UK Plc specialist 1971 Richemont Lancel Leather Goods- Leather * France Luxury Group specialist 1876 Limited Source: Self-elaborated 12

20 According to the 2011 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 8 report Louis Vuitton placed at spot no.26 with a brand value of USD$24,312- up 23% from its brand value in making Louis Vuitton the most valuable luxury brand. It is later followed by Hermès, which placed at spot no.71 with a brand value of USD$11,917- up 41% from Allthough it is important to realize that the brand value of the luxury sector is still 13% under its pre-recession value in 2008, it is promising to see customers are once more turning to luxury brands. As can be seeb in the case of Burberry who had a brand value appreciation of 86% from 2010 to 2011, placing its brand value at USD$3,379. According to this same report Louis Vuitton, Hermés, Chanel and Gucci where amongst the Top 15 brand contribution leaders- brand values reported for Chanel and Gucci are of USD$6,823 and USD$7,449 respecyively. Brand contribution measure the emotional bond of consumers to the brands, thus luxury brands typically rank high due to their heritage, craftsmanship and exclusivity which customers highly appreciate (Exhibit 3). The previous table provides an overview of the industrys key players at brand level, however, further financial analysis is not always possible at such level since not all luxury groups dissclose the financial information at brand level, and rather reports are presented for the entire group. It is also important to note that many companies present results for fashion apparel and accessories which include additional brands to those previously mentioned and not included due to their lack of relevance in the luxury leather goods sector. Finally, when comparing data from the companies it is to be taken into account tha the last available annual reports where considered for each company, 2010 or 2011, so there is a discrepancy in years for some of the companies, and in currency since british brands report their financial information in pounds. 8 MillwardBrown, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands

21 Table 3- Key Industry Players At Group Level Company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA Gucci Group NV Subsidary of PPR PRADA S.p.A. Hermès International Valentino Fashion Group S.p.A. Key Facts Total revenues: 20,320m in 2010 Fashion & Leather Goods revenues: 7,581m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 2545 CEO Bernard Arnault 83,542 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 4,011m in 2010 Leather Goods revenues: 2,033m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 684 CEO Robert Polet (CEO of PPR François-Henri Pinault) 11,941 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 2,047m in 2010 Leather Goods revenues: 1,014m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 319 (Franchises: 33) CEO Patrizio Bertelli (Chairwoman Miuccia Prada Bianchi) 7,199 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 2,401m in 2010 Leather Goods-Saddlery revenues: 1,205m in 2010 Retailer (Distribution of watches, perfumes and tableware) Directly-Operated Stores: 317 (Concessionaires: 21) CEO Patrick Thomas 8,366 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Valentino revenues: 300m in 2011 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 112 (Single-brand boutiques: 700) CEO Stefano Sassi 626 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Chanel S.A. Total revenues: estimated at 3,000m in 2011 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 160 CEO Maureen Chiquet (Chairman Alain Wertheimer) 1,270 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Market Share 38.43% 10.31% 5.14% 6.11% 1.52% 15.21% 14

22 Company Burberry Group Plc Christian Dior Salvatore Ferragamo S.p.A. Mulberry Group Plc Key Facts Total revenues: 1,501m in 2011 Non-apparel: 563m in 2011 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 174 (Concessionaires: 199 & Outlets:44) CEO Angela Ahrendts 6,681employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 21,123m in 2010 Fashion & Leather Goods: 2,555m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 235 CEO Sidney Toledano (Chairman Bernard Arnault) 86,818 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 7,816m in 2010 Leather Goods revenues: 244m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 586 CEO Michele Norsa (Chairman Ferruccio Ferragamo) 2,745 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Total revenues: 122m in 2010 Distributer & Retailer Directly-Operated Stores: 44 CEO Godfrey Davis 821 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Richemont Total revenues: 6,892m in 2011 Luxury Other Businesses revenues: 967m in 2011 Group Distributer & Retailer Limited Directly-Operated Stores: 246 (Only Lancel) CEO Johann Rupert 21,000 employees Activities: Manufacturing & Selling Source: Self-elaborated Market Share 3.44% 12.95% 1.24% 0.75% 4.90% It is important to highlight that the majority of the key industry players are publicly traded companies, since it is through this source of financing that most of the companies have been able to finance their global expansions. Perhaps the only exceptions that remain are Chanel and Valentino Fashion Group. Although the majority of the aforementioned companies are of 15

23 European origin- especially France and Italy, countries typically known for their luxury productsthey now all compete at a global scale both in mature and emerging markets. Therefore, the market shares mentioned on the previous table are in global terms. However, it is important to consider that the market shares calculated above are just an estimate since not all the revenues were exactly comperable due to differences in years, currency and categories. To calculate the market share currencies in pounds were converted to euros at the current exchange rate of euros per pound and the subcategories of fashion and leather goods or the likes, depending on the companies way of classifying, were considered whenever possible- in some cases only a total revenu was available or a total revenue per brand. THE FIVE FORCES MODEL The Five Forces analysis, suggested by Porter, offers a a holistic view on the competitive dynamics of the industry and helps us identify where profits are being allocated. The model is also helpful in further understanding the impact of the macroeconomic environment on companies strategy and interactions, by pointing out the underlying drivers in each of the forces. BARGAINING POWER OF SUPPLIER In the case of luxury products, and certainly luxury leather goods, the quality of raw material is of the utmost importance as it has an impact in the feel of the finall product. Given this, luxury brands have always recognized the importance of stablishing long-term relationships with reliable suppliers offering the highest quality materials. These relationships are managed in such a way that suppliers are generally locked-in to the relationships by having high switching costs. Furthermore, many brands have looked for vertical integration by investing in supplier companies 16

24 or setting up their own farms for leather production, specially in the case of exotic leathers which are scarce. Additionally, leather suppliers are generally not organized to reach final consumers in terms of final product, branding and distribution, thus, they depend on luxury brands buying their leather hides. Although scarcity has perhaps increased suppliers bargaining power, overall there is a low supplier power in the luxury leather goods market. BARGAINING POWER OF BUYERS When considering the bargaining power of buyers, the brand loyalty individual consumers have towards the specific brands is key to determine which party has the most influence. Since most upscale department stores and e-stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Harrods, Selfridges, Net-A-Porter, etc. are quite known on their own they are powerful channels for up-and-coming designers to display their products supported by stores customers recognize as luxurious and fashionable. However, in the case of established brands, such as the ones mentioned in the key players section, loyalty tends to be towards the brand and not the store, allocating the bargaining power with the brands. Furthermore, not carring certain luxury brands customers expect weakens the stores image. Additionally, luxury brands have become for the most part expert retailers themselves with flagship stores and directly-operated boutiques worldwide meaning they do not rely soley on wholesalers to distribute and sell their products. However, department stores in emerging markets where brands are still to set their own operations may hold a higher bargaining power, but overall buyers bargaining power is moderate. Finally, when talking about directly-operated stores we must talk about individual consumers as the buyers. In this case, bargaining power is also moderate as most clients have 17

25 emotional attachements to their preferred brands. Moreover, although customers do not incur in switching costs from buying different brands, designs and brand positioning are differentiated enough that customers may find it difficult to switch brands. Therefore, as a whole customers always hold some bargaining power since they drive demand, but as no individual customer represents a considerable wallet-share the bargaining power on individual customers is moderate. THREAT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS Luxury leather goods consumption is driven by self-indulgence, meaning that potentially any good or service may pose as a substitute as long as it covers this need for self-gratification and pampering. Therefore, some of the most obvious substitutes are other products from the accessories category, but substitutes may also come from categories such as jewelry and watches, parfumes and apparel amongst other categories. Additionally, luxury leather goods, although mainly purchased for their brand and aesthetics, also have a functionality element and therefore may be substituted by products which meet this requirement. Specially after the crisis, some potential customers remain price-sensitive and therefore may opt to substitute luxury leather goods for their more affordable counterparts. However, it is important to mention that generally luxury leather goods are considered durable goods, as opposed to their cheap counter parts which are considered non-durable goods. On the other hand, there are also customers who are unwilling to give-up luxury brands but opt to consume or purchase them in an different way. Vintage and second-hand products, typically sold by specialty stores or by individual owners through sites such as ebay pose a threat due to their lower cost. Another threat is the rental of luxury handbags, which allows consumers to access the dream and prestige of wearing a luxury handbag without having to purchase it. 18

26 Finally, counterfeit represents the biggest threat for all of the luxury sector, of which leather goods is the most affected since handbags and wallets are amongst the most reproduced products. Counterfeit is one of the most concerning challenges the industry poses for companies and constant attempts at fighting it are carried on. Luxury groups, such as LVMH now have special departments dedicated to fighting counterfeit or fight it to some extent through their legal departments. Furthermore, organizations such as the Comité Colbert (France), Fondazione Altagamma (Italy), Walpole (UK) and Circulo del Lujo Español (Spain), of which the luxury brands are members, constantly work on fighting counterfeit through ad campaigns informing the general public about it and the hefty fines due if cought with counterfeit products. Efforts to counteract counterfeit have been paying-off as more and more countries actively play a role in confiscating and destroying counterfeit products at the border, including China whose government is making the first attempt to combat counterfeit. However, the damages derived from counterfeit go beyond the mere economic impact since there is also an image element. In luxury products scarcity and quality are indispensable to achieve the desired brand image and counterfeit products, specially the higher-end copies, deteriorate brand image since customers might confuse them with the real products. Overall, the threat of substitutes is high due to counterfeit, since the previously mentioned substitutes only pose a moderate threat. THREAT OF NEW ENTRANTS In the luxury leather goods industry, new designer are constantly entering the scene since all it takes is a popular design paired with a celebrity endorsement for customers to desire the product. Moreover, it is possible for new designers to enter the industry on a small scale with a relatively small capital investment. On the other hand, heritage and brand positioning serve as 19

27 entry barriers since achieveing a brand image comparable to that of established luxury brands requires extensive investments on communication and media planning, as well as time for customers to accept the brand and form emotional attachements to it. Additionally, the element of heritage is impossible to replicate in the short-term. Additionally, the industrys consolidation trend leads luxury groups to buy independent brands which they consider to have potential and therefore pose a future threat. Consolidation has also lead to the formation of additional entry barriers derived from scale and bargaining power, sucha as economies of scale as some of the cost can be shared amongst firms and a privileged position in terms of supply of raw materials and in distribution channels. Overall, although it is easy for new entrants to enter the market, the threat of new entrants is considered low since it takes a considerably long period of time for brands to position themselves as luxury brands and truly compete at the level of the key players in the industry. RIVALRY AMONG EXISTING COMPETITORS The luxury leather goods market is highly consolidated at company level, however, at brand level it is fragmented as there exists a wide array of brands ranging in size, design, heritage and positioning. Brands are typically managed as independent companies to maintain their creative control and brand DNA, therefore, brands tend to target specific customers. Furthermore, brand loyalty tends to be strong despite the low switching costs for customers, which is why luxury groups tend to focus on having an extensive brand portfolio covering different customer segments. Overall, there is many brands in the luxury leather goods market yet the level of rivalry is moderate since brands are, in a way, considered niche and therefore compete for different customers. 20

28 INDUSTRY DYNAMICS & INTERACTION AMONGST PLAYERS The personal luxury goods industry is characterised by its dynamism, with well-established brands constantly finding competition from new players. New brands and recognized designers are constantly popping into the scene due to one key element: creativity. Thus, there is little concentration at brand level in the industry. An other trend that has made the industry extremely dynamic since the 1980 s when the consolidation process began, headed by Bernard Arnault, is the revival of classic brands, which conglomerates often covet due to the potential value of the brand names. The key to the revival of these brands has also been linked to creativity, finding the right designer to exhalt the brands aesthetics in a contemporary way. Examples of such brands include Christian Dior which revived thanks to John Galliano, Gucci during the Tom Ford period and Chanel under Karl Lagerfeld. Finally, one last trend in the dynamics of the industry players is the constant acquisition of brands by the conglomerates. In their desire to maintain there positions as key players, conglomerates are constantly seeking to purchase or sell brands in order to build portfolios which enhance their position and profitability. The perfect example of this is LVMH, whose CEO Bernard Arnault earnd the nickname wolf in cashmere clothing due to his hostile takeovers, of which perhaps only Gucci has been able to escape back in Currently, LVMH is at it again, recently purchasing a stake in Hermès. This action quickly raised speculations about an eventual bid for the entire company, prompting Hermès family members to look for court protection by permitting their plans to create a holding company that will ensure the families position in the company for the next 20 years. Finally and foremost, the fashion and leather goods sector is dynamic in nature due to the rapidly evolving consumer trends which require brands to keep up-to-date and offer new designs each season. Especially, in the leather goods sector the It Bag phenomena ruled for at least the 21

29 past decade making competition extremely dynamic since each season the most desired bag would be from a different brand or designer. Furthermore, luxury brands have realized that nowadays creativity most expand beyond the runway collections in order to keep the brand image up-to-date and continue to engage customers, therefore, driving for an even more dynamic and changing environment. Not so long ago Internet was condoned by luxury brands, now it is one of the arenas in which brands compete for customers attention. Some of the highlights of the industry s efforts to utilize new technologies are Louis Vuitton s London fashion show broadcast on YouTube and Chanel s entrance into e-commerce. V. DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS Luxury brands have always been amongst the most coveted, however, scarcity and exclusivity are intrinsic to luxury- so how can companies appropriately balance customers demand and brands supply? On the demand side, companies are constantly investing millions of euros in marketing and public relations to ensure their brands are desired and valued by the consumer, yet, companies must be careful to attract the right consumers at the right price-point. Although, luxury leather goods are amongst the most highly priced due to the margins they command, it is still important to recognize that the democratization of luxury has increased the demand for luxury leather goods as it is now possible for the aspitrational middle-class to purchase luxury brands. Thus, on the supply side companies find themselves in the dilemma of reaping profits by fully meeting the customers demand and offering more accessible luxury and aspirational luxury goods or concentrating on absolute luxury goods and holding back supply in order to maintain an image of exclusivity. 22

30 SUPPLY OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS The supply of luxury leather goods in 2011 was marked by further price increases lead by further increases in costs due to the high costs of leather, as well, as by increases in strains to the supply due to additional demand as consumers recover from the economic downturn of the past years and preferences shift towards luxury products due to their durability. In terms of leather good supplies a very important element to take into account is the scarcity of quality leather hides, both of cattlehide and exotic leathers such as crocodile, snake and ostrich amongst others. This scarcity of raw materials specially affects luxury brands since they are always looking for the best quality. For example, Hermès has resorted to running its own crocodile farms in an effort to better meet the demand of their customers who are already forced to wait for years for certain exoticleather bags. An other example is Louis Vuitton who recently bought a 51% majority stake in Heng Long, a crocodile leather supplier- the acquisition is valued at 92 million. Supply for the likes of Hermès and Louis Vuitton is also limited by labour, since craftmanship not only makes for a slower production process but also requires highly skilled individuals and a long training process. An other aspect of luxury leather goods supply is that of the channels through which they are distributed. Leather goods are distributed through department stores, specialty stores, flagship and directly-operated stores and online. In general, retail oriented companies performed better as retailing allows companies to take better control of their growth and image. It is also important to take into account new consumer trends which place importance in the shopping experience rather than just the product, thus making flagship and directly-operated stores increasingly attractive. Luxury distribution has undergone a significant shift, with the retail channel growing faster than the wholesale channel, with a 14% growth from 2010 to 2011 according to Bain & Co. 23

31 Moreover, the instability of department stores due to banckruptcies, extrem discounting policies and unreliable stocking cycles in key markets- US and Japan- has impacted both the sales and image of the brands damaging the business-to-business relationships between the brands and wholesalers, leading many brands to tighten their distribution controls. Nowaday the retail channel accounts for 28% of the personal luxury goods market worldwide. However, even though retail is over-performing wholesale, the gap is narrowing, since wholesaling remains vital for brands to reach costumers in international booming markets. The importance of the wholesale channel is further supported by a report realized by Bain & Co. in cooperation with VOGUE 9 which found that women buying luxury goods have a preference for shopping in luxury department stores and on online flash sales. Online is also a relevant channel accounting for 3% of total sales in the personal luxury goods market. Although most luxury brands have finally embraced the online channel, multi-brand sites remain as the preferred customer websites due mainly to the excellent service level and discounts. It is also worth pointing out that the online channel is particularly relevant to the accessories segment, including leather goods, due to the one size fits all nature of the products. DEMAND OF LUXURY LEATHER GOODS The demand of luxury leather goods was marked by an increase in the demand, proving that overall the luxury market is always amongst the most resilient in economic downturns. This increase in demand can be attributed mainly to two sources: first the booming emerging markets and changing consumer trends. In relation to the booming emerging markets we must first and foremost talk about the BRIC 9 Bain & Company in cooperation with VOGUE, Why She Shops:The 2010 Fashion and Beauty Study. September

32 countries, it is also important to mention that Mexico is many times considered along the BRIC countries as an important emerging market, as are most of Asia-Pacific countries. However, when talking about emerging markets, China is the most important country as it has emerged as an example for all emerging markets in terms of penetration and localized value proposition. It is also forcasted to remain as the fastest growing market for luxury, becoming the number one luxury market in the next 5 years. In the case of consumer trends, the extent of the impact of the recession on consumers values is yet to be known, however there is already a notorious shift in preferences which have led to an increase in the demand of luxury products, but also changed the buying patterns of consumers. Further analysis about consumer trends is discussed in the following section as it is vital to understand who are the consumers in order to have a further understanding of the demand of luxury leather goods and services. VI. CONSUMERS AND CONSUMER TRENDS-WHO ARE THEY? WHAT DO THEY WANT? WHY DO THEY BUY? Luxury can be divided into absolute luxury, aspirational luxury and accessible luxury and each of these categories attends to a different customer segment. Absolute luxury is aimed at the High Net Worth Individuals mainly in mature markets, aspirational luxury and accessible luxury are aimed at the middle class mainly in emerging markets where the purchasing power of people is increasing, especially in the younger age group. The main difference amongst the customer base for aspirational luxury and accessible luxury is in terms of willingness to pay due to price-sensitivity and interest in fashion and accessories. The different classifications of consumers are shown in the following image. 25

33 Image 1- Segments Of Consumers In Terms Of Style And Price-Point Bain & Company in cooperation with VOGUE (2010), Why She Shops:The 2010 Fashion and Beauty Study. For luxury products the most interesting segments are fashion mavens and classic professional, since they spend the most across all categories. There spending in accessories is of 19% and 20% accordingly. It is also important to note that their average age is of 33 for fashion mavens and 44 for classic professional. These luxury shoppers are unique in terms of what they look for. Todays style-conscious woman is mainly seeking quality and lasting value, with 80% willing to pay more for accessories that will last more than one season, leading to marked preference towards classic brands. According to Bain & Co. and VOGUE, in 2010, 65% of the sales were of classic brands. Additionally, customers also seek for heritage with 60% of style- 26

34 conscious women willing to pay extra for brands with a strong heritage. It is also important to note that 30% of Americans, Europeans, and Japanese say they are most likely to pay full price for an item that is classic, since products that can never be bought on discount, are more valuable, durable, and a good investment. In China, more than 50% of luxury goods consumers said that the more expensive the product, the better they consider its quality also favoring the purchase of the higher-end artisanal products. However, many analysts belief that the large luxury goods companies cannot afford to rely on the High Net Worth Individuals consumers, who should be left to the smaller brands of true artisanal luxury, such as Hermès and Bottega Veneta, specially with more than 40% of Americans and almost a third of Europeans, only willing to buy luxury goods only when they are on sale. Another trend is the growing desire for Ecolux due to the consumers desire for responsible and guilt free shopping, with 30% of style-conscious women willing to pay extra for products based on sustainability, although by definition the leather goods industry can not be green luxury companies can otherwise contribute to society to help make consumers feel guilty-free when purchsing luxury leather goods. Finally, concerning male customers there is a marked trend, especially in Asia, of increasing men spending in leather goods. When talking about leather goods, undoubtedly, the main product category is handbags since the it bag phenomenon started. Although this phenomenon is now coming to an end as women opt for the classics, the interest of women in handbags remains, as part of the self-rewarding phenomenon. Today s consumers often opt to forgo costly apparel purchases and instead choose accessories that serve both functional and decorative purposes and are easy to buy due to the one size fits all factor. One of the main issues the luxury industry is facing right now is the shift in consumer behaviour patterns due to a change in preferences as a consequence of the recession. This is why 27

35 understanding where luxury sales are made and what people in each market look for is important. The following image shows the geographic mix of global luxury goods sales in Image 2- Geographic Mix Of Global Luxury Goods Value Sales, % Share 2010 Euromonitor International (2011), How Global is the Global Luxury Goods Market. Consumer motivations for buying luxury products are often linked to their social, political and economical environments. However, we can generalize that the desire for the exceptional has become a trend amongst the luxury buying consumers. With luxury purchases becoming more deliberate, consumers expect more made-to-measure products and services tailored to their specific needs. VII. CONCLUSION Luxury goods typically are inelastic since luxury goods consumers are typically not very price sensitive. However, the economic crisis of the last few years was the tipping point for several changes in consumer preferences and the competitive landscape. Today, consumers are less interested in purchasing luxury goods as status symbols and more focused on the actual value of 28

36 the product. Therefore, companies that can play up their heritage and craftsmanship should highlight it, since it is this element of uniqueness that allows the brands to command higher prices and make the product unsusbtitutable in the consumers mind. Overall demand for luxury leather goods will continue to increase, it is up to the brands to rethink there strategies in order to satisfy this new consumer trend. Furthermore, this trend has brought about the end of the it bag phenomena, which led women to seek the ultimate bag of the season and forced them to purchase a new bag each season. As we know leather scarcity has put a strain on the supply of final leather goods manufactured by the brands, therefore, the end of this trend or phenomena might also be beneficial for the brands if they adequately change there business strategies to remain profitable. With this change the gap between supply and demand is reduced in terms of volume but not necessarily value since consumer are also willing to buy at a higher price-point. 29

37 VIII. REFERENCES Armando Branchini, A. and Varacca Capello, P. (2011), Fashion & Luxury Insight FY 2010 Results. Fondazione Altagamma and SDA Bocconi, October Atsmon, Y., Pinsent, D. and Sun, L., Consumer & Shopper Insights: Five Trends That Will Shape the Global Luxury Market. McKinsey & Company. December 2010 Bain & Company, Worldwide luxury goods market poised to surge 10 percent in 2011 as growth in China and mature markets increases, according to newly-released 10th edition of Bain & Company's luxury goods worldwide market study. October Bain & Company in cooperation with VOGUE, Why She Shops:The 2010 Fashion and Beauty Study. September 2010 Bellaiche, J., Mei-Pochtler, A. and Hanisch, D., The New World of Luxury: Caught Between Growing Momentum and Lasting Change. The Boston Consulting Group. December Burberry Annual Reort %2Epdf China Daily, G20 Leaders Push Global Economic Reforms Friday. September Claudia D Arpizio, Altagamma 2011 Worldwide Markets Monitor. Bain & Company and Fondazione Altagamma. October 2011 Comité Colbert, Luxury: A Growth Driver For 21st-Century Europe. December 2008 Christian Dior Consolidated Highlights Datamonitor, Industry Profile: Global Apparel, Accessories & Luxury Goods. April 2011 Datamonitor, Industry Profile: Global Luggage and Leather Goods. June 2010 David Jones, Hermes breeds own crocs to meet bag demand, Reuters. June Diamond, J. and Diamond, E., The World Of Fashion,, Fairchild Books, Inc. New York, 4th Edition, 2008 Euromonitor International, How Global is the Global Luxury Goods Market. May 2011 Euromonitor International, Absolute luxury rides high in recession. April 2010 Euromonitor International, Consumers express status through lifestyle choices and not just luxury purchases. May 2010 Euromonitor International, How the green wave is shaping the luxury goods industry. June 2010 Euromonitor International, Is luxury in rehab?. May 2010 Euromonitor International, Luxury brands forced to address their brand heritage to stay afloat. May 2010 Euromonitor International, Luxury Brand Routes to Market: Exclusivity vs Expansion. April

38 Ferragamo Annual Report _ _draft_english_version_final_clean.pdf Hermès Annual Report HERMES_2010_GB.pdf Hoovers Jay Diamond and Ellen Diamond, The World of Fashion, 4 th edition, Fairchild Books Inc. New York Jean-Marc Bellaiche, Antonella Mei-Pochtler, and Dorit Hanisch, The New World of Luxury Caught Between Growing Momentum and Lasting Change, Boston Consulting Group. December 2010 Lauren Sherman, World s Most Powerful Luxury Brands. Forbes. August MillwardBrown, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Mimi Spencer, The It bag is dead; long live the no-logo bag. Times Online. May Luxury Key Figures Mulberry Annual Report df PETA PPR- Gucci Group Annual Report Prada Annual Report spa%20group_eng.pdf Richemont, Annual Results FY WWD: Women's Wear Daily, Valentino Swings To Profit, EBSCO Host. September a876e31b158%40sessionmgr113&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bu h&an=

39 IX. APPENDIX Exhibit 1- Worldwide Personal Luxury Goods Market Trend ( E, B) Source: Claudia D Arpizio, Altagamma 2011 Worldwide Markets Monitor. Bain & Company and Fondazione Altagamma. October 2011 Exhibit 2- Value Of Luxury Leather Goods ( E, B) Source: Claudia D Arpizio, Altagamma 2011 Worldwide Markets Monitor. Bain & Company and Fondazione Altagamma. October

40 Exhibit 3- Top Luxury Brands Source: MillwardBrown, BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands

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