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31 August 2015

British luxury industry sales “to be worth £54 billion by 2019"

The British fashion, creative and luxury sectors accounted for £25 billion in exports in 2013 and will grow rapidly to support almost 170,000 jobs by 2019, according a new report published by Charles Russell Speechlys and luxury brand alliance Walpole, produced by independent consultancy, Frontier Economics.

Edward Craig, Partner and head of the Retail & Leisure group, works with many fashion, retail and luxury companies. In response to the report, he said: "Britain’s creative and luxury sectors are amongst the UK’s most prolific exporters, with 78 per cent of production, in value terms, destined for overseas markets. They have always been international in outlook, and in the past five years have targeted growth successfully in East Asia and the Middle East.

"Success of brands abroad has also driven the rise in ‘shopping tourism’ from these regions, with visitors flocking to the West End to buy must-have brands. However, we continue to be at a disadvantage here compared to countries like France, which has been more proactive in courting overseas tourists from countries such as China.

"However, a comprehensive intellectual property protection and enforcement strategy remains vital to maintain the value and integrity of luxury brands in the face of ever more sophisticated attacks. Whilst China is taking stronger and more effective action against counterfeiters and brand hijackers, IP theft and copycat products still significantly undermine the bottom line. Companies must protect themselves internationally – it is not enough to secure UK and European protection and then hope for the best.

"Licensing, franchising and investment arrangements are also crucial to companies’ prosperity and continued growth. These are more than logistical considerations – they fundamentally change the fate of a brand. Ambitious companies must prioritise these, too. "

The full report can be found on Walpole's website.