On November 18 in St. Petersburg, the Corinthia Hotel hosted a roundtable discussion of the Vedomosti newspaper in partnership with the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia business program on anti-crisis strategies in the luxury market.
The moderator was Alena Andreeva, a marketing expert, author of the monographs Designer Brands in Fashion Business (2006) and Luxury Marketing: Modern Strategies (2007). She spoke about the current trends in the luxury market, described the luxury market in Russia as mature, but still balancing between “loud” and “quiet” branding, developing both the direction of absolute and everyday luxury.
Alena drew attention to the fact that the Russian market for luxury goods is developing as an element of the global luxury market, and it is characterized by the same trends and changes in the structure of consumption, price offer, distribution and communication channels as for the markets of other countries.
Alena highlighted such trends as the feminization of men, the masculinization of women, the growing demand for absolute luxury, a wide range of luxury goods, but also drew attention to factors specific to Russia, such as conspicuous consumption, style uniformity and concentration of sales in large cities. The expert also drew attention to the growing role of the Internet as a sales and communication channel and urged luxury brands to pay more attention to them.
Daria Yadernaya, Managing Director of Esper Group, proposed three new sources of growth for the luxury market during the crisis in Russia - a reorientation to the domestic market of purchases from foreign online stores, the share of which has decreased as a result of uncertainty in the legislative regime for importing luxury goods for personal use. work with attracting a consumer who has abandoned major foreign shopping during a period of stagnation and fears about sanctions, as well as attracting a "new buyer" who formed a state during the last two crises - 2008 and the current one, integrating them into the world of luxury and introducing them into the brand by encouraging small "entry purchases". Daria also drew attention to the danger of being drawn into the Internet as a sales channel, pointing out that buyers are still looking for low prices on the Internet, do not trust the authenticity of goods and do not want to pay with cards, as well as logistical difficulties in delivering to regions that are only 18 % of the total Internet turnover, which casts doubt on the very need for such a sales channel, if Moscow and St. Petersburg provide 82% of online luxury purchases.
As anti-crisis tools for work, the Managing Director of the Esper Group and the Director of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia business program urged not to get carried away with new technologies and innovative solutions, but to focus on solving fundamental business problems - optimizing the assortment line taking into account the needs of the Russian consumer, reducing staff turnover and increasing the level their qualifications through training, and motivation through the development of new incentive and reward programs, work with CRM or the creation of an effective customer base and two-way relationships with them.
Alexander Romanenko, President of Romanenko & Partners, emphasized the main trends in the development of elite real estate, pointing out the inelasticity of demand in this segment and drawing attention to the fact that the best offers of elite real estate at attractive prices are now operating on the market, which creates an effective atmosphere for investing in this environment.
Nikita Kondrushenko, President of the St. Petersburg High Fashion Syndicate, Prada Ambassador to Russia, pointed out the new opportunities of Russian designers in Russia during the recession, but drew attention to the fundamental problems with the production and search for fabrics, as well as the lack of personnel, which prevents designers from switching to mass quality production.
Evgenia Boricheva, General Director of Ginza Staff, urged to pay more attention to personnel management, because service, constant and uninterrupted and not dependent on the human factor, plays a vital role in luxury sales. Continuing the topic of a high level of staff turnover, Evgenia proposed schemes for increasing the efficiency of maintaining databases and clients, which can minimize the leakage of information and contacts as a result of the change of grassroots and middle personnel.