Is it time for luxury executives to go back to school?
Yes – says an article in the Financial Times, as selling luxury goods has “become a tougher proposition” due to the Global Financial Crisis.
Jean-Noel Kapferer, a marketing professor at HEC Paris, warns executives to keep calm in the face of crisis. He says, “Panic decisions like slashed prices are typical of a fashion brand, not of a luxury brand. These are two very different business models.”
Joshua Kobb, also from HEC, stresses the need to innovate during tough times. He says, “Innovation can also be on an organisational level, in redefining processes to be more cost effective ...”
Marika Taishoff, Associate Director for luxury at the University of Monaco, suggests global shifts mean that luxury executives need to be able to enhance operational efficiency, and in order to do that, they must “understand areas such as merchandising, the role of vendors and buyers, the legal environment, partnering and supply chain efficiency.”
But while this article raises interesting points, it’s focus is firmly on international markets. Australia, however, has bucked the trend and the luxury brands here have continued to grow in revenue and continue with their expansion plans, namely opening more stores and/or renovating existing ones. So these points may not be applicable here.