LUXURY PRESS DIGEST 21ST APRIL

Luxury Fashion, Retail & Consumer Goods

CHINESE TOURISTS' LUXURY SPENDING SOARS - GLOBAL BLUE
Reuters reports that spending by Chinese tourists, the biggest buyers of luxury goods, soared by 122 per cent in March after a 52 per cent rise in February, bringing the increase for the first quarter to 67 per cent, Global Blue said in a report published on Monday. This compared with a rise of 32 per cent in the fourth quarter and 18 per cent in 2014. Many Chinese tourists have stayed away from luxury hot spot Hong Kong - where big brands have invested significantly in new shops in recent years - following pro-democracy protests last year.

THE BUSINESS OF LUXURY: GROWTH IN EMERGING MARKETS BOOSTS MBA CAREERS
Business Because writes that there are concerns that the brightest managers flock to more lucrative sectors like financial services. Luxury is hiring strongly but not on the same scale as management consultancies, for example, says Chris Higgins, assistant director at INSEAD’s Career Development Centre. “[But] we are still seeing a traction,” he says. There is either an obsession on the product or an extreme focus on financial results – but both camps must work in tandem. “Each [luxury MBA] program to train future managers must allow each group to speak the language of the other,” says Professor Angelo Manaresi, director of the MBA in design, fashion and luxury goods at Bologna Business School in Italy.

FROM SUSTAINABLE LUXURY TO LUXURIOUS SUSTAINABILITY
The Huffington Post writes that it is a rare luxury to feel that you have been part of a moment; a subtle but profound tipping point after which nothing will ever seem the same. The 1.618 Sustainable Luxury conference in Paris was one such moment. Dedicated to the theme of Sustainable Sourcing and Responsible Value Chains, it was clear that the discussion of sustainable luxury has finally moved on from creating feel-good initiatives to recognising the potential for creating business value.

CAVERSWALL CHINA BOUGHT BY LUXURY MAYFAIR BRAND HALCYON DAYS
The Stoke Sentinel reports that luxury Mayfair brand Halcyon Days has bought prestige pottery company Caverswall China in a move designed to secure its long-term future. The acquisition will unlock investment in the business, safeguarding 23 jobs and leading to the growth of the Caverswall China name at home and abroad. Halcyon Days said the two brands will be launching collaborations and commemorative ranges with longstanding partners throughout 2015.

QUEEN’S AWARDS: MACKINTOSH TAKES THE LUXURY MARKET BY STORM
The Financial Times writes that the Mackintosh was born in 1822 when Glasgow chemist Charles Macintosh — the k was added later — invented a waterproofing process using a mix of rubber and coal tar. Today, the Scottish company — a Queen’s Award winner for international trade — is at the forefront of innovation in the global luxury market and has seen an increase of more than 56 per cent in international sales over the past four years. The company still manufactures its handmade coats with traditional skills in Cumbernauld, near Glasgow. But it also produces machine-made coats at its facility in Nelson, Lancashire, where it waterproofs wool and cashmere.

Luxury Travel, Culture & Leisure

FIVE-STAR LUXURY HOTEL FOR ADELAIDE
The Associated Press reports that construction of a $140 million luxury Sofitel hotel will begin in Adelaide in 2017 and will be the first international five-star hotel to be built in the city in almost 30 years. The Currie Street hotel will be the tallest mixed-use development in South Australia, featuring 80 apartments over the top eight levels with 250 rooms and suites spread over the remaining floors. Construction is expected to create hundreds of jobs with the hotel to provide 150 ongoing positions once it opens in 2018.