Imprese e Settori

Case studies e ricerche sulle imprese e i principali comparti del sistema Made in Italy

Luxury in a global and digital age. Empirical evidence from the Russian Federation and China

A cura di Giada Mainolfi

The luxury industry has experienced a series of dynamic and pervasive changes in the past twenty years. Globalization, economic trends, digital transformation and evolved consumer behaviour have progressively shaped a new competitive landscape where traditional business models may vacillate compromising a profitable growth. The global appetite for luxury goods in an era characterized by the democratization of luxury seems to be challenged by new threats that go far beyond the obsessive search for a balance between rarity and growth. Recent international events are threatening the stability of international relations, thereby generating tensions among countries throughout the world. These tensions may stem from political–economic arguments (e.g., European sanctions against the Russian Federation), diplomatic disagreements (e.g., Trump’s threats to dismiss NAFTA), religious conflicts, or nuclear war threats (e.g., as recently experienced in the case of North Korea’s nuclear tests) and may also have strong repercussions in the marketplace. Such a scenario raises serious doubts about the possibility of replicating the immense success of the luxury industry during the last decade. Newly rich Russian and Chinese consumers have perpetuated the optimism regarding the luxury sector in recent years. However, the recent slowdown in the luxury sector requires a rethinking of internationalisation strategies. Will these markets continue to be the lands of opportunity for luxury brands? Furthermore, the current landscape is also complicated by issues that go beyond geopolitical and economic reasons. The power of digital channels and the sophistication of consumer habits are adding other challenges to the luxury industry.

By proposing theoretical frameworks and analysing empirical data, the present study aims at providing interpretative criteria from which to draw interesting and useful insights for luxury companies from a management perspective.

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Professore Associato in Economia e Gestione delle Imprese presso l’Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma.