Hungary, Croatia and Bulgaria remain the worst performing Central & Eastern European luxury markets

The current recession as well as the continued political unrest have been fueling the negative economic performance of Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia, with a direct impact on the luxury markets. Hungary’s unpopular government has been taking controversial measures which have been condemned not only by the population but also by most of the country’s foreign investors, without a positive reflection in the state of the economy. Hungary’s luxury market has also been affected by the drop in affluent tourists, especially from the US and Asia.

With its Schengen membership likely to be postponed due to its high level of corruption and sluggish reform of its justice system, Bulgaria remains one of the worst performing economies in Europe. Bulgaria, which has the lowest penetration of luxury brands has been ”wait listed” indefinitely by major international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci.  

One of the smallest economies in Central Europe, Croatia seems to be far from any clarification of its E.U. integration, seen by its leaders as a rescue from the current economic troubles. Despite its developed tourism infrastructure, Croatia is attracting mostly middle class and mass market package tour holiday makers, therefore, its luxury market targetting locals.

Sales of luxury goods and services are likely to remain negative for the whole of 2011 in all the three countries, the most affected sectors being watches/jewellery followed by cars and fashion.

With the occasion of the 2011 edition of BUSINESS OF LUXURY FORUM (March 28th), the annual international event dedicated to emerging markets, CPP Luxury Industry Management Consultants Ltd will present the luxury market reports for most of the Central and Eastern European markets, with an in-depth analysis of each luxury sector, highlighting opportunities, challenges, trends.