We have said it before here at the MO down, that there are various routes that luxury brands should be weary of venturing down... heavy discounting and/or discounting more regularly in particular. With the current financial turmoil many luxury multi-brand stores globally Neiman Marcus, Saks in the US and David Jones here in Australia have resorted to heavy discounting of current season product. Ouch... this does a lot of damage to the brand equity.
Customers are clever, even those with a lot of money..(!), whilst in the past they would want the new seasonal product right now and didn't need or want to wait until four months or so to 'see' if it is still in stock. They also didn't need to purchase at markdown, however with alot of the luxury brand VIP clients being affected in some way they too would be considered 'mad' if they did not take advantage of the incredible range of international and local high end and luxury brand reductions of current season.
Some of the strategies that luxury brands either must enhance, review or be aware have been listed in USNews.com and makes for some interesting reading. We support wholeheartedly these sentiments, including the latent pick up of on-line retailing. The other point is that brands need to bring in webs specialists, the danger that many publishing companies as well as brands have done is 'assume' the strategies for print media can be replicated (template style) and be successful on-line... This is so incorrect, many have poured way too much money into on-line websites but do not understand the very different approach needed.