China’s slump has put the US luxury market in the spotlight
A big retail wave of high-end brands is fanning out across America
From Gucci’s 10,000-sq-ft store on the site of a former pencil factory in SoHo to Hermes’ two-story flagship in a New Jersey mega-mall, America hearts luxury. And that’s a good thing for the industry, because with Shanghai in lockdown and European demand potentially hurt by the war in Ukraine, the US is picking up the bling baton. In 2021, luxury growth was led by the US, not China. Soaring stock and crypto markets boosted wealth, while stimulus cheques got many more shoppers to dip their toes into top-end waters. And the wealthy didn’t just splurge on Dior bags and Cartier jewellery. They led art buying, according to the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report. That helped the overall market exceed its pre-pandemic levels.