Tags: luxury | brands

Luxury Brands Beating Wal-Mart

Wednesday, 19 Aug 2009 03:23 PM

By Julie Crawshaw

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Think luxury goods aren't selling these days? Think again.

French luxury good maker Hermes enjoyed a 12 percent gain for the second quarter, while Wal-Mart's sales declined 1.4 percent, VIX reports.

In fact, the Claymore/Robb Report Global Luxury Index ETF, whose holdings include Porsche, Daimler BMW, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Hermès, Luxottica, and Pernod Ricard, has been dramatically outperforming the discount retailer since the March bottom.

"Global luxury sales aren't deteriorating anymore at all," Gucci owner Francois-Henri Pinault told Bloomberg.

"September will be the key month to see if we have hit the bottom, if the recovery is coming."

Indeed, a number of European luxury-goods makers say that sales are stabilizing or improving.

Italy’s Bulgari SpA, maker of high-end jewelry, recently reported a narrower loss, while Louis Vuitton says sales growth above 10 percent.

Sales for PPR, the French multinational holder of luxury goods firms, were sustained by the resilient performance of its Gucci luxury mega-brand, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Luca Solca, who also says that Gucci’s penetration of the Chinese market ahead of its rivals paid off this year

First-half sales of luxury goods advanced 11 percent in China and Hong Kong, and 15 percent in emerging markets, PPR said, helping to offset declines in North America, Europe and Japan.

At the core Gucci brand, sales grew 14 percent in China, including Hong Kong.

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