The worst of the crisis seems to be over by 2011. This is what emerged from the recent studies conducted by Altagamma, international foundation collecting “haute de gamme" companies that represent the worldwide market situation and future development perspectives.

According to Claudia D'Arpizio, consultant and partner of consultancy firm Bain & Co., which conducted the study in cooperation with Altagamma, the market volume of personal goods in the global luxury market was €153 billion in 2009, 8% less than in 2008, but is expected to grow of about 10% in 2010.

Wholesale business suffered the most in 2009, especially US department stores, with a recovery in 2010 (+6% vs. 2009) due to re-stocking. Retail was able to grow slightly in 2009 (+2% vs. 2008), thanks to new openings. According to altagamma, it will meet recovery in 2010 (+20%), because of a series of openings, (about 400), already planned for 2009.

Online shopping is growing significantly (+20% in 2009 and in 2010), especially in the off-price segment. Online luxury market goods sold in 2010 make up a €4.2 billion sales.

Business travel retail makes up about 10% of the total (€16 billion in 2010). It suffered less than other market segments (-1% vs. 2008), thanks to new tourism especially from China.

Outlet business has grown significantly with new openings in Europe and Asia and thanks to increased traffic and average cash register receipts. Luxury outlet business generated a sales of over €8 billion in 2010.

Amongst the geographical areas that were struck the most in 2009, were the US (-15% vs. 2008), Japan (-12% vs. 2008), and Europe (-9% vs. 2008). Though a recovery is expected for Europe (+6% vs. 2009) especially thanks to Chinese and Eastern European tourists, and also for the US (+7% vs. 2009). Japan is expected to mark a -8% (vs. 2009) also in 2010. Best performer in 2009 was the Asian Pacific area with numbers growing by 10% (vs. 2008), to even achieve +22% in 2010.

According to product categories, the best results were registered in the segment of leather accessories. In 2009, they sold +2% vs. 2008 and in 2010 they registered a +20% growth, compared to 2009. In 2009, footwear suffered slightly (-4% vs. 2008), but especially for men's footwear, a recovery is expected for 2010 with +16% in all of the world's areas. Apparel dropped by 10% in 2009, but will register a growth of 8% in 2010, especially thanks to men's casualwear and second and third designer brands' spin-off collections.

Hot topics to keep in mind for the future will be China and other emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, Middle East and India), an adaptation to a general digitization of the market, and an enhanced attention to customer experience focused on excellence, buying experience and service.

Also part of the studies is the Altagamma Consensus 2011, a forecast of the overall luxury market. For 2011, they expect positive signs. Among the segments with the highest expected growth are leather shoes and accessories (+8%), and apparel (+7.5%). Among the market areas with better sales performance, they expect the highest growth in Asia (+15.8%) and Middle East (+11.5%), while Europe and USA will register respectively a +5.5.% and a +6% growth.