Luxury is fit for IRL consumption

Luxury retail continues to skyrocket

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The Future. As more people return to offices and socialize outside their homes post-pandemic, they’re dressing to impress, which means the clothes they buy (and where they buy them) are evolving. In other words, gone are the days of simply adding fits to your online cart. Consumers are now shopping IRL for brand quality and prestige, setting up the US luxury retail market to exceed $75 billion in sales by the end of 2023. While malls may have taken a hit in the past few years, the expansion of luxury retail proves brand experience (even in the form of brick-and-mortar shops) still attracts big spenders.

The new design
Luxury retailers want to stand apart by opening in exclusive luxury wings, reports Forbes. This positioning is supposed to highlight the unique experience of luxury shopping and reflect the desires of today’s luxury consumer, who favors ROI rather than trendy pieces.

  • Alexander McQueen chose Copley Place in Boston and SouthPark in Charlotte for its store openings, while Dior selected The Mall at Millenia in Orlando and The Domain in Austin.
  • The US accounts for nearly 32% of global luxury sales, with sunbelt cities like Miami, Atlanta, and Las Vegas making up the biggest portion of luxury leasing.
  • However, India is emerging as a compelling destination for luxury brands, as its middle class alone surpasses the whole population of the US.

The key to success
Despite tightening in the real estate market, luxury retail is growing and exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The reason might be as simple as ongoing employment in the areas it dresses.

As the names, faces, and pocketbooks of luxury shoppers continue to evolve, so will the brands and their IRL experiences.

Kait Cunniff

Kait is a Chicago-raised, LA-based writer and NYU film grad. She created an anthology TV series for Refinery29 and worked as a development executive for John Wells Productions, Jon M. Chu, and Paramount Pictures. Her favorite color is orange.


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