Walpole Luxury Summit 2016 on The Americas: A report

The Walpole Luxury Summit 2016 on The Americas, in association with Covington, was held at 195 Piccadilly, London, on Thursday 30th June 2016, with research, commissioned by Walpole, from McKinsey revealing how the US continues to be an important growth market for British luxury brands, while Latin America offers plenty of opportunities. However, both markets aren’t without their challenges.

To read the Walpole Luxury Summit 2016 report on the Americas, please click here.

The  Summit gave brands the tools to navigate the Land of Opportunity, and find success in the New World, with an esteemed line-up of speakers who imparted crucial knowledge, experiences and statistics to the assembled delegates.

To see images from this event, please click here.

Below is a summary of the event:

Elizabeth Dibble, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy London, gave a guest address to start the day, highlighting the importance of UK/US trade relationship: “’The special relationship’ (Winston Churchill) between the USA/UK is not going to change”

The first sessions focused on ‘Consumer Insights’ and began with ‘The Economic & Business Outlook’, from Anthony Collard, Head of Investments for UK Business Leaders, J.P. Morgan: “The US is likely to be the engine of global growth and the consumer trends look encouraging”

Next up was ‘Wealth Trends: The Affluent Perspective Global Study’ with Cara S. David, Managing Partner, YouGov Wealth Practice. Cara explained how: “The average age of first luxury experience is lowering – 33 years for Baby Boomers, 28 years for Generation X and 24 years for Millennials”

This was followed by our first panel discussion: A View of the Markets, Wealth Insights & Customer Trends with Cara S. David, Managing Partner, YouGov Wealth Practice; Winston Chesterfield, Research Director, Wealth X; and John Hooks, CEO, Pacific Global Management, moderated by Michael Ward, Harrods & Walpole. “To attract customers you have to show the investment value of luxury over non- luxury” – Winston Chesterfield, Wealth-X; “In real luxury it’s all about service, what people want more than anything else is relationships with other people” – John Hooks

After a refreshment break, we were joined by Stephen Webster, Founder & Creative Director, Stephen Webster who discussed the success of his namesake brand in the US: “Americans love to meet the artist, the person who has created what they are going to buy”

This was followed by Retail Detail: How the Traditional Store Model is Evolving with Marigay McKee, Founder, MM Luxe Consulting, interviewed by Charlotte Keesing: “It’s important for retailers to offer theatre, vitality & experience, otherwise it really is easier for us just to click and shop”

We then heard from Steven Murphy, Founder and Managing Partner, Murphy and Partners, who discussed The Key Growth Opportunities for Luxury Brands.

We moved onto our second panel: Creating the Seamless Customer Experience with Kim Weld-Blundell, Director, Head of Retail Strategy, Scoop Retail; Jamie Merrick, Head of Industry Insights, Demandware; Maria McClay, Industry Head of Fashion, Google; Steven Murphy, Founder and Managing Partner, Murphy and Partners; moderated by Michael Ward, Harrods & Walpole: “The luxury market absolutely cannot disengage with social media, but it needs to be ONE of the factors” – Maria McClay, Google

This was followed by Tech Innovation & The Future of Retail with Trevor Hardy, CEO, The Future Laboratory: “The growth of the web is making the world borderless, but for individuals what is becoming more important is what’s ‘near me’. Brands are finding ways to become ‘local shops’ again.”

After a break for lunch and networking, Olga Martinez Garcia, Partner, Amélie, Strategy Consultancy and Carlos Ferreirinha, Founder & CEO, MCF Consulting took to the lectern to discuss Succeeding in Brazil: “Brazilians behave like Americans, but believe that they are Europeans, they buy with American enthusiasm” – Carlos Ferreirinha

Our third panel session of the day featured Olga Martinez Garcia, Partner, Amélie, Strategy Consultancy; Carlos Ferreirinha, Founder & CEO, MCF Consulting; Philip Guarino, Co-Founder Partner, Emerging Market Luxury Advisors; Consuelo Blocker, Luxury & Fashion Lifestyle blogger, moderated by Charlotte Keesing, Walpole, they discussed: Succeeding in Latin America: “Smaller cities and towns in Brazil are thirsty for luxury too” – Consuelo Blocker

This was followed by another panel on: Cultural Context, with Victoria Christian, Clive Christian; Sarah Evans, Partner, J Public Relations; John Hooks, CEO, Pacific Global Management; Anne-Marie Verdin, Brand Director, Mulberry; moderated by Allyson Stewart-Allen, CEO, International Marketing Partners.

Up next was ‘In Conversation with Bonnie Takhar’, Bonnie Takhar is President of Charlotte Olympia: “You need a huge amount of money to invest in America, or a huge amount of creativity” Bonnie was interviewed by Meribeth Parker, Meribeth Parker Consulting.

The final session of the day was on What Influences the Customer Decision Making Process Today? With Bonnie Takhar, CEO, Charlotte Olympia; Sarah Evans, Partner, J Public Relations; Consuelo Blocker, Luxury & Fashion Lifestyle blogger; Avery Booker, Co-Founder & CEO, Enflux, moderated by Meribeth Parker, Meribeth Parker Consulting.