On a Saturday afternoon, I sat with Andrew, an MBA student at HEC Paris for a quick interview. In order for him to finish his own dissertation, he had to gather millennials who shop or had purchased anything luxury online.
Luxury to many comes in various forms. A Dior lipstick, La Mer skincare, Goyard card holder, a Chanel Boy Bag and so on and so forth. And this is exactly why I was a bit wary for a moment coming to the interview. Name brands today have expanded exponentially with different extensions but are at par in terms of price points with other middle range brands. I toy with the question, “What exactly is a luxury item today?”
As soon as the interview concluded, I couldn’t help but ask what were his initial results. To my surprise, he frankly said he had difficulty in finding millennials who are regular luxury online consumers. He began to widen his search and consider multi-brand platforms rather than just the actual brand-site. He also did not limit his search to any race, gender or nationality. But still, to no success, he had only a handful of participants.
We often criticize heritage brands such as Chanel for not having an online platform and using it as a reason for their decline in sales. But what if Chanel is right for choosing to remain offline? Many millennials today still choose to travel and experience the luxurious aura of going to a physical store and that was proven based on Andrew’s interview.
In fashion today, Luxury is no longer only for the bourgeoisie. It is available to many and has been accessible to anyone across the globe. But what remains luxurious in purchasing these goods are still the experiential aspect.