Written by Antonio Achille and Daniel Zisper
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, every company’s first priority is, of course, to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers, and business partners. Indeed, luxury companies have pivoted to address urgent public-health needs: factories that produced scarves and perfume now manufacture face masks and hand sanitizer, and many luxury groups have made monetary donations to hospitals and other not-for-profit organizations. At the same time, with millions of people relying on the luxury-goods industry to make a living—from factory workers and retail-store employees to small-town artisans and craftsmen—industry leaders are planning ahead and wrestling with longer-term strategic questions to ensure the survival of their businesses.
In this article, we discuss the impact of the crisis on the luxury-goods sector. We then recommend two sets of priorities for industry executives: short-term actions for “navigating the now” and longer-term considerations for shaping the future.
While it’s too early to quantify COVID-19’s total financial toll on the sector, the pandemic has certainly shaken some of the foundational aspects of the luxury industry—and some of these changes could be permanent.
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