May 26, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic created massive challenges for companies, and the luxury industry was no exception. With consumers strapped for cash and only spending money on essentials, demand for luxury goods plummeted.

Even as companies like Gucci still try to shake off the pandemic-induced financial hit, consumers in Asia appear to be powering the return of other luxury retailers, like Prada and Moncler.

“Prada has had a positive start to the year,” said Andrea Guerra, Prada’s chief executive officer, in the retailer’s latest earnings report.

Prada saw an increase in retail sales across all of its regions, and notably in one nation: Japan. That rise is in part due to easing COVID-19 restrictions, an uptick in local shoppers, and the help of tourists, it said. (Japan officially lifted its COVID-19 restrictions in April of last year, allowing travelers to visit without presenting a vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test result.)

Sales in Japan rose by nearly 46% during the first quarter. Meanwhile, sales in the Asia Pacific region rose 16%, the company said. Moreover, shoppers are making more clothing and accessory purchases from the group’s Miu Miu brand, which saw an 89% rise in sales for the quarter.

Meanwhile, Italian fashion house Moncler is also benefiting from shoppers in Asia, too. It reported a 26% jump in revenue across the continent — led in part by solid demand in mainland China, as well as demand from both local shoppers and tourists in Japan and Korea, the company said in its earnings report. Chinese shoppers have long a lynchpin in the luxury industry — and it seems its neighbors have joined its ranks.

Meanwhile, Moncler’s ready-to-wear line — known by some for its puffer coats — noted that its increase in revenue was in part due to its direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel.

Even with its first quarter success, Moncler remains “conscious of the volatile macroeconomic environment,” according to its chief executive officer Remo Ruffini. Those normalization trends in the sector, will require Moncler “to remain prudent and reactive in light of these ongoing uncertainties,” Ruffini added.

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