Over the past two decades, the Bain & Company Luxury Study has become a reference point for the industry, but it has never seen a year of surging performance to match 2021. With personal luxury goods sales likely to be up by almost a third, the 20th edition of the study—released in collaboration with Fondazione Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods body—is a landmark in more ways than one.
As well as post-lockdown store reopenings, the rebound reflects a hunger among customers globally to shop for luxury goods in their home market, with exceptional growth in mainland China and the Americas. Sales of shoes, leather goods, and jewelry will comfortably surpass their 2019 levels in 2021, while online sales have continued to thrive. More good news: Profitability has also recovered. We forecast that the industry average margin for earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) will almost double in 2021 to 21%, in line with 2019.