Is Japan losing its luxury appeal? Last year LVMH scrapped plans for a new Vuitton flagship store
in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district and now Versace is pulling out completely. Bloomberg reports
that Gianni Versace SpA
will close its Japanese stores as part of an overall review of the company business strategy. A statement from the company said in part that the Versace boutiques in Japan " no longer represented the brand image and it was felt to be more advantageous for the company to close them and start with a clean slate." The fashion company has three stores in Japan, one in Osaka, one in Tokyo and one in Chiba according to the Versace website.Overall Japan's market for imported luxury goods has been shrinking in recent years.
Earlier this year I asked the team at Luxist Japan
about the new Japanese attitude toward luxury. They reported that many of the more mass-marketed luxury brands are no longer faring as well with Japanese consumers. Like American consumers the Japanese are becoming adept at high-low dressing and are more interested in creating their own mix and match outfits without relying on copying what they see in store windows. Japan's luxury goods decrease may not represent as much of an overall disinterest in luxury goods as much as it does a less ambitious attitude toward overt logo chasing.