Report: Luxury Spending Declines in London

Unnerving news from London's luxury scene: Bloomberg is reporting that the city's luxury retailers are "braced for weak sales" during the Christmas and New Year business period. The report suggests that bankers and brokers are curbing their spending as they wait to see if the economy will slide back into recession next year.

Managers and owners of luxury stores like Gucci, Tiffany and Bulgari told the site that they expect their sales numbers to last year's. The report notes that shopper numbers during the week of December 5 "fell in all locations" compared with the same week last year, according to the British Retail Consortium, and U.K. retail sales fell more than economists forecast in November.

This development is particularly interesting given the increased attention London has received in the last year following the Royal Wedding, and the anticipated boom it will get from the Olympics in July and the Queen's Jubilee in June. Five-star hotels have opened or undergone massive renovations in anticipation of a substantial increase in visitors, and it seems reasonable to expect that numerous industries within the city—including the luxury stores—will see solid numbers, especially over the summer. (After all, where else can you get a bespoke Savile Row suit?)

Time will tell, of course, but when one of the top cities in the world sees a downturn in luxury spending, it should certainly raise flags…


 

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