Most luxury markets in Central and Eastern Europe continue downtrend

Sales of luxury goods and services across all industry sectors in Central and Eastern Europe continue the negative trend. Sales in the first 6 months of 2010 have dropped by up to 30%, compared to the same period last year. 

Auto remains the most affected luxury sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with sales drops of 30% for new cars, especially in Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Ukraine. The countries with smaller decreases in new luxury car sales are Poland, Slovenia and Czech Republic. Many wealthy consumers continue to give up their cars, most of them contracted in leasing.

The second most affected luxury sector in CEE is the jewellery and watches one, with sales drops of up to 15% in all markets. The economic crisis has had a strong impact on the buying power, while many regular consumers of luxury watches and jewellery prefer to buy abroad at flagship store where they get higher discounts. 

Luxury fashion and accessories have registered a sales decrease of up to 10% in the first 6 months of 2010.  More and more consumers resort to mix and match, combining luxury accessories with fast fashion items while others flock to the major outlet villages especially those in Italy.

CPP‘s forecast of a recovery of the luxury markets in Bulgaria and Romania by the end of this year will not be fulfilled. None of these markets will see a recovery by the end of this year to the sales levels of 2008. Despite being the largest EU market as well as the least affected economy (by the international crisis) in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland remains the most underdevelopped luxury market.

CPP Luxury Industry Management Consultants Ltd.