Luxury brands catch a break from holiday resort boutiques

by Admin
Luxury brands catch a break from holiday resort boutiques

As northern European cities empty during the summer months and residents head off on holiday, luxury brands are following them — with seasonal pop-up and concept stores in resorts. Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dolce & Gabbana are among those setting up shop on the Mediterranean coast in hotels, exclusive beach clubs and tourist hotspots.

The trend towards wider luxury spending, and the ability of brands to capitalise upon it, can be seen in recent growth forecasts. The luxury travel industry had a global market value of $1.2tn in 2021, according to consultants Deloitte, with forecasts suggesting this could increase by 7.6 per cent per annum until 2030. Meanwhile, property group Savills quotes a forecast by consultants Bain & Co that spending on luxury goods will grow at 4-8 per cent a year by 2030.

Savills highlights the expanding resort market as the most rapid growth area since the pandemic. Brands are also using information on tourist spending to decide in which summer hotspots to establish permanent boutiques. Permanent openings in resorts doubled between 2022 and 2023, according to Savills — almost four times the average global rate pre-pandemic.

Many brands feature fine jewellery and watches as part of their special lifestyle, fashion and accessory escape-ready collections. Chanel is displaying its Première and J12 watches alongside its Coco Crush and No5 fine jewellery in its pop-up at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Bodrum. Dior’s Dioriviera collection will also be in Bodrum and D Maris Bay in Turkey, as well as in Montenegro and at the Nammos beach club in Cannes, in the south of France.

Chanel boutique at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Bodrum © OLIVIER.SAILLANT/Chanel f662 42c6 8af2 53732db9a8b8
Louis Vuitton in Mykonos

Louis Vuitton is at the Nammos club in Mykonos, Greece, and has another six Mediterranean destinations, including Portofino (Italy), Puerto Banús (Spain) and Porto Cervo in Sardinia. Its seasonal boutiques carry several jewellery collections.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Grand Tour Alta Moda events have pitched up in southern Sardinia at the pretty Forte Village resort, where the brand’s Alta Gioielleria high jewellery and its watch creations are displayed in a temporary boutique. The brand is hosting creative takeovers, too. These are projects it inaugurated last year, showcasing fine jewellery and watches, alongside its own holiday and lifestyle collections, at: San Domenico Palace in Taormina, Sicily; La Cabane beach club in Marbella, Spain; and Saint-Tropez, France, where it has “dressed” Casa Amor, a well-known bohemian-chic beach club.

These, says Dolce & Gabbana chief executive Alfonso Dolce, are strategic locations “that attract visitors with significant purchasing power”.

“They are not just holiday resorts but real status symbols,” he adds. “So it is essential for us to be present with all categories — not only with clothing, but also and, above all, with jewellery and watches.”

These exclusive takeovers, which have expanded to include beach clubs in Portofino, the Hamptons on the US east coast, and Ibiza, target locations where affluent clients spend their holidays — because, says Dolce, “there is no better time to think about giving, or treating oneself to, a piece of jewellery than during a time like summer, where everything is slower and more relaxed”.

Brands say the two activities their clients missed most during the pandemic were interactive lifestyle experiences and travel. Combining these in the form of destination events or concept stores, for example, provides an opportunity for companies to revamp their image and attract a broader base of consumers.

A colorful outdoor seating area with a bohemian, ethnic-inspired design
Dolce & Gabbana in St Tropez © THIBAUD GEORGES 0e75 43cb adcc 44b597d8807b
The boutique at Bulgari Resort Bali © Bulgari

Bulgari’s hotel group provides also it with a insight into tourism trends. It has opened jewellery boutiques in its Bali and Dubai hotels where it sells both watches and jewellery.

The shops are “a powerful blend of commercial opportunity and storytelling”, says chief executive Jean-Christophe Babin. “They also drive growth and extend Bulgari’s global reach.”

Another brand that is capitalising on the travel market is Pomellato, which offers a selection of high-end pieces at its seasonal pop-ups in Porto Cervo and Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany. “These destinations demonstrate a strong appetite for premium offerings at elevated price points,” says Boris Barboni, Pomellato’s chief product and marketing officer.

They also stock holiday exclusives, such as a turquoise-set version of the new button-style Pom Pom Dot collection that is also available at another seasonal store, in Capri.

“Our resort boutiques tend to attract high-net-worth individuals who are in a more relaxed and joyful state of mind while on vacation,” Barboni says.

And “by curating a selection that differs from their hometown boutiques, we aim to showcase new and exciting items they [the customers] may not have encountered before”. e4b8 4e3d 9eac bcd75d86acdf
The Pomellato pop-up boutique in Porto Cervo © ANTONIO CADONI

Independent designers are opening resort pop-ups, as well. Athens-based Lito Karakostanoglou will be spending this month in a boutique on the Greek island of Antiparos introducing her new jewellery collection featuring vintage coral.

“A pop-up like this is always a creative way for independent jewellers and stores to create a unique environment and present pieces that we would not normally show in our Athens flagship,” she says. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and engage with new potential clients.”

Fellow Athens-based jeweller Nikos Koulis was among the first to identify the holiday market when he opened a seasonal shop on Mykonos in 2016. Last summer, he added a second outlet on Paros where another Athenian jeweller, Yannis Sergakis, has recently opened a store.

Both draw an international tourist clientele, which Koulis divides into two types. One is the connoisseur who has followed his work for several years and “often prefers private appointments with me to delve into the designs, craftsmanship and quality of the stones”, he says.

The other, Koulis says, “makes purchases driven by emotion: a spontaneous purchase that captures the essence of their holiday spirit and becomes a cherished memory”.

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