Brand is the buzzword as customers turn choosy

Gone are the times when people would aimlessly and helplessly stroll past high-end stores like Dior and Chanel, knowing the products were well out of their reach. But things have changed dramatically both in terms of buyer’s mindset and their purchasing power. The top malls in the capital city of India have witnessed a growth in footfalls by roughly 20 percent in 2011.

The positive experience of the store managers is a testimony to the fact that people are no more wary of spending huge sums on buying pricey objects – either for personal usage or for gifting purpose. In fact, conversion rates have moved up fast and hesitant window-shoppers of the past are increasingly turning into more assured buyers.

So does the slowdown not affect the up-market luxury segment? As a sales manager rightly observes, luxury is something that comes along, as these consumers are used to it. Underlining the trend, a recent article by Avantika Bhuyan and Priyanka Sharma ( ) notes: So, luxury’s indeed here to stay.

According to an estimate, the luxury market in India is roughly valued at $7.5 billion (more than Rs 37,500 crore in 2010) equates the overall consumer electronics market in terms of size. Different estimates put the Indian millionaires’ count (in equivalent dollars) at well over 100,000. However, experts feel that well can be a gross underestimation.”

Once, luxury brands noticed the trend of heavy purchases by buyers in India at their exclusive stores in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, they were quick to latch onto it. They were savvy enough to know the vast marketing potential and the possibilities of exploring the opportunity that India as a country (and also as a huge marketplace) presented to them.

They have capitalized on it in a big way in recent years. The trickle-down effect of this has been felt in the gifting industry as well, moving up a notch higher in the value chain, thus increasing the glamor and luxury quotient of the products on offering!

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