COVID-19 is leading to a reevaluation of the luxury business model in India. With the luxury market expected to contract 39 per cent in 2020, businesses across the country are being forced to either to adapt or perish, says latest McKinsey report. While some of these are resorting to new distribution channels, others are opting for an extension of their product lines, services and product categories.
Diversification for apparel makers
Luxury apparel and accessory makers, Dior and Loreal are making disinfectant gels at their facilities. Luxury British heritage label, Burberry has launched reusable and sustainable masks with anti-microbial technology so have designers like Anita Dogre and Shivan and Narresh. Delhi-based affordable luxury leather goods brand Damilano, is focusing on its ecommerce platform as is Ensemble which is shifting most of its offline inventory to its webstore.
While some brands are launching classic collections that last long, others are introducing smart casual collections. Besides offering private client appointments for physical store shopping, these brands are also providing personal shopping and styling sessions on Zoom or video chat.
Similarly luxe automobile makers like Lamborghini, Mercedes Benz. BMW and Tesla are shifting production to hospital ventilators, protective plexiglass shields and other medical devices. Mercedes-Benz India has launched a new e-commerce platform ‘Merc From Home’, which enables customers to purchase their favorite Benz from the comfort and safety of their home’. Pre-owned car maker, Big Boy Toyz is seeing a 75 per cent surge in its online sales.
Spurt in demand for home fitness equipment
The restriction of most fitness freaks to their homes increased demand for home fitness equipment. To explore this demand, Louis Vuitton launched a stylish range of home fitness equipment including dumbbells and skipping rope. The brand has also introduced a set of opulent playing cards under its homeware line to engage its patrons. According to McKinsey, companies that prioritized customer service witnessed a stronger rebound from the 2008 crisis. In the current scenario too, customer focus will prove to be the gamechanger.