The US is still the worlds biggest luxury market

The US is still the world's biggest luxury market

The luxury goods sector is set to grow by 7% this year, according to new figures, with China locked on to a larger slice of the global market.

The global luxury market is expected to surpass US$302bn by the end of 2012, Euromonitor International said yesterday (11 September). But while the US, Japan, Italy and France still account for about half of the market, Brazil, Russia, India and China are set to take 11% this year, increasing to 16% by 2017.

Euromonitor called China the “star luxury goods market with sales consistently outperforming the global market”.

China's luxury goods sales tripled in the past five years, and its market is set to double by 2017, Euromonitor global head of luxury research Fflur Roberts said.

“By 2017, it is set to overtake France, the UK, Italy and Japan, making China the second-biggest luxury market in the world after the US,” Roberts said.

The US remained the biggest luxury market, valued at an estimated $77bn this year, Euromonitor said. It is an estimated 2.4 times bigger than Japan in second spot.

Despite only accounting for an estimated 6% of sales in 2012, online luxury retailing will see long-term growth, as luxury brands use it to access new markets, Roberts said.

Drinks companies have enjoyed strong growth in luxury sales recently.  Rémy Cointreau saw sales jump 24.4% in Q1 this year, thanks largely to China's continued demand for its luxury Cognac brand, Rémy Martin. 

In February, Diageo CEO Paul Walsh said his company has not forgotten Europe's luxury market. “We have increased the focus on the luxury opportunity and set up a dedicated Western Europe Reserve brands team to accelerate super premium brand growth here,” he said.

Earlier this week, the head of marketing for Pernod Ricard's luxury Champagne told just-drinks the industry need to embrace emerging markets to survive.