As individuals try to make sense of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is no doubt that our lives have hit the ‘reset’ button. With the fear of a pandemic, economic crisis, and uncertainty of social distancing we are looking at a blurred future. It is hard to derive the end of COVID- 19 although it is clear that a new way of thinking, working conditions, business, and leadership is here.
Future of the Luxury Industry
Looking at the uncertainty of time and low consumer sentiment one can put into context that the luxury industry is wrestling for survival. There is a shift where several luxury brands and groups have acknowledged the public health needs and are now manufacturing sanitizers and face masks.
Recognizing the need for the hour, the luxury industry has prioritized the health and safety of its employees but on the other hand, there is a sense of insecurity as millions of people rely on the luxury-goods industry to make a living.
With most malls and all luxury stores shut, fashion shows and events cancelled, supply chain disrupted, it will certainly take a while for Indian luxury industry to bounce back.
Gaurav Bhatia, Managing Director, Maison India, who has been a leader in the Luxury and Lifestyle business for more than two decades, points out that the Coronavirus outbreak can bring some major changes in the consumer’s mindset.
He adds, “The world is not the same. And it will be a very different space by the time we come out of this crisis. The uncertainty of these times needs brands to be sensitive and relevant at the same time with the evolution of perhaps even the product mix. Brands need to be authentic but also think indigenously. It is time for the luxury goods companies to rethink and reshape new business strategies and models to tap into consumers’ minds.”
Future of the Luxury Industry
This might be the time when we see the luxury industry get revamped into the digitalized culture. “We are already seeing a swift shift from retail to e-tail and a true omnichannel spirit making its way,” says Bhatia.
“The brands they haven’t done this will miss a huge window of visibility.” With the lockdown in effect and the fear, luxury houses will now work on creating a new journey – a first-class virtual experience for its customers.
The luxury industry falls away from the basics of rationality, it is about taking risks. It can be predicted that the future of the luxury industry is about to change and once the threat of the pandemic is lifted a lot of people will find comfort through their shopping behavior.
Predicting new possibilities for the luxury industry, Gaurav Bhatia foresees that luxury brands will move away from the materialistic expression and work towards a more holistic and sustainable experience. “I for one, will look for brands that elevate me.
Those that truly give back to the artisans, respecting their integrity. Not brands that use cheap labour.” Elevating the experience of luxury where the consumer can reinforce their identity and could get a boost out of the aftermath of the Coronavirus crisis, is something the luxury industry can look forward to. The Covid-19 has been a wake-up-call and with new awareness efforts as the industry work towards sustainable development and a truly new world.