What are luxury goods?

Luxury goods are products or services which are ordinarily considered as something that is not needed but desired. They often come with a big price tag, but in return offer the promise of comfort, quality, exclusivity and status.

Such ‘non-essential’ items or services are produced and offered by luxury brands across a range of industries. The luxury goods market currently includes fashion, health & beauty, travel, food & drink and the automotive industry.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines luxury as “a state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense”. The idea of luxury as a ‘state’ is important. When we consume luxury goods we are looking to fulfill our desire to be glamorous, sophisticated, elegant, wealthy, fashionable and believe that by acquiring a luxury product that we become all of these and have achieved this desirable state of being.

The Financial Times definition adds that a luxury good is specifically “in greater demand when incomes are high”. When specifically looking at luxury goods, it is interesting to note that even those who are not typically high earners will save in order to splash out on a luxury good once in a while.

To date, the luxury goods market is one of the few that has survived the current economic climate, with a white paper report from the Luxury Institute stating that “top tier luxury brands have emerged from the recession stronger than ever”.

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