Skip to main content
Survey Report

Global Luxury Brands Survey Report

Casualty|Credit, Political Risk and Terrorism|Cyber Risk Management|Medioambiental|Marine|Property
COVID 19 Coronavirus

October 28, 2021

To find out more about where the sector is headed, we surveyed key decision makers in luxury brands around the world about their risks, opportunities and challenges over the coming years.

Looking to a brighter future despite challenges

After one of the most disruptive periods in recent history, luxury brands are gradually shaking off the dust and starting to look forward again.

  • But what will the new normal look like?
  • What are the trends that will shape the future?
  • And which risks should brands look out for as they scan the changed horizon post-pandemic?

To find out more about where the sector is headed, we asked decision makers in luxury brands around the world about their risks, opportunities and challenges over the coming years.

Survey sample and methodology

Our survey was carried out by our partner Coleman Parkes Research in July and August 2021, using a mixture of phone interviews and web-based survey forms.

We received 100 responses from senior decision makers within luxury retail brands based in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.

Confidence is slowly returning

We found that luxury brands are confident about the future despite current headwinds.

A large majority think their business will be more profitable in the near term.

70%
of the survey participants believe luxury brands will increase in profitability over the next two years

While the pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation in the industry, there is no rush to abandon physical stores.

Most participants said they did not expect the proportion of sales made online to increase in the next five years.

But brands say they do face an increasing challenge in engaging with younger, more socially-minded consumers, and will need to step up their digital experience to reach these Millennial and Generation Z consumers.

Brands face a complex web of risks

Our survey shows decision makers feel intense pressure not only to reduce their environmental impacts but also to demonstrate good governance practice.

66%
of the brands surveyed are implementing a formal process to manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks

Business travel risks also rank highly, perhaps reflecting a nervousness about returning to the skies post-pandemic.

The need to protect customer data against increasing risk of cyber-crime is a major concern, while supply chain management and trade issues, including Brexit and looming tariff wars, are also high on the list of future risks and challenges.

Getting any of these issues wrong can seriously damage a company’s image.

Because of their status, luxury brands may be held to higher account for their actions than other businesses.

Reputation is not a single risk but a ‘risk of risks’, a complex matrix of issues that needs to be handled with care.”

Kelvyn Sampson | GB Industry Lead- Retail, Leisure and Hospitality, Willis Towers Watson

Reputation is not a single risk but a ‘risk of risks’, a complex matrix of issues that needs to be handled with care – which may contribute to the perception in our survey that such risks are more difficult to manage.

Greatest risks to brand’s financial success

This chart shows that the top six risks highlighted to pose the greatest risk to a brand's financial success
in the next two years is directors and liability risk (54%), business travel risk (53%), environmental risk (53%), health risk (50%), supply chain and infrastructure risk (48%) and product recall risk (41%)
Top six risks highlighted to pose greatest risk to brand's financial success in next two years

Luxury brands are showing resilience

Luxury brands are yet again proving their resilience, bouncing back from the pandemic, just as they did from the financial crisis a decade ago.

But while the road ahead is clearer, there’s a growing list of risks and challenges that could make for a bumpy ride over the next few years, to learn more download our 2021 Global Luxury Brands Survey Report by completing the form at the top of this page.

Contacts

Kelvyn Sampson
GB Industry Lead- Retail, Leisure and Hospitality
Willis Towers Watson

Global Markets P&C Hub
Willis Towers Watson

Contact Us