New Delhi: What are you gifting your loved ones this Diwali? High-end stuff is hot, apparently. From desserts to bags and jewellery, sales of luxury items are surging, driven by a flourishing economy, according to retailers and companies.
“Renowned international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Cartier, Bulgari, Gucci and Giorgio Armani are leading the way, with increased sales compared to last year,” said Pushpa Bector, senior executive director at DLF Retail. DLF’s luxury portfolio includes the DLF Emporio and The Chanakya malls in Delhi. Higher spending per customer than last year across all luxury categories signals an uptick in overall expenditure this festive season.
“Hermes and Chanel stores at The Chanakya mall in Delhi are consistently booked for festive appointments,” Bector said. “There is a growing demand for distinctive products.”
Some brands have introduced special Diwali products for India, including limited editions available exclusively in the country. Diwali is on November 12.
“For instance, Bulgari offers the Mangalsutra, while Jimmy Choo has a Diwali capsule collection promoted through a campaign featuring Bollywood actress Ananya Pandey,” Bector said.
The Horsebit 1955 bag from Gucci, originally crafted over seven decades ago, has been exclusively launched in a distinct shade of gold for Diwali and is available at the label’s stores across India.
“Adorned with crystals on the Horsebit small shoulder bag, the embellished touch highlights the festive spirit of the season,” stated Gucci.
Sales of high-end products are up this year because brands have also ensured that products available overseas can be bought at their stores locally, said Uzma Irfan, corporate communications director at Prestige Group, which operates UB City Mall in Bengaluru.
She also manages operations and leasing for the mall.
“It is Diwali time and everyone wants to spend now and live for today. Home brands, fashion and accessories categories in the luxury segment are doing very well,” she said.
Spanish porcelain label Lladro’s India CEO Nikhil Lamba said there has been an increase in sales in the lighting category as people shift to their newly constructed homes this Diwali.
“As contemporary interior aesthetics continue to be the growing trend, the contribution of the design category or the contemporary designs which are bold, striking and playful have grown by 52% over last year,” he said. “A growth of 60% comes from home decor accessories like clocks, trays, vases and decorative plates which are very popular for gifting in the festive season.”
Lladro’s lighting units cost over Rs 5 lakh while high-porcelain products are priced at Rs 10 lakh and above. Products in the gifting category can go up to Rs 1.5 lakh.
Luxury Swiss chocolate brand Laderach opened its first boutique store in India in Delhi in August and the response has been “phenomenal,” according to spokesperson Riti Gupta. The Dharampal Satyapal Group (DS Group) is Laderach’s exclusive partner in India.
“The growing preference for luxury items coupled with a desire to explore newer options for gifting is driving Laderach sales,” Gupta said. “The per-capita consumption of chocolates in India is far lower than the global standards and the luxury segment is growing in India so that’s the opportunity Laderach is able to harness.”
Gupta said Laderach aims to open five to seven exclusive stores over the next two years. Chef Julien Alvarez, executive pastry chef at French luxury pastry brand Maison Laduree, has created special Diwali treats for customers in India.
“Our turnover has grown year on year and people are out there to buy,” said Chandni Nath Israni, cofounder and managing director of the CK Israni Group, which has brought the pastry brand to India. “We have curated special Diwali gifting boxes that are selling like hotcakes. Macarons are also a healthier and a lighter snack compared to other options.”
Sales of pre-owned luxury watches are also seeing an uptick.
“This quarter, sales will see a 3x to 4x jump compared to other quarters,” said Arjun Singh Hira, founder of chronoseconds.com that sells pre-owned luxury watches and is marketing a vibrant Grand Seiko rose gold watch as an ideal Diwali gift. “Its retail price is Rs 28 lakh and we have listed it for Rs 15 lakh on our website.”