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French riots could dent luxury sales

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Haute Couture FW23 Credits: Schiaparelli

The contrast between the glamorous haute couture presentations and the ongoing riots sweeping Paris and France following a tragic shooting is striking. As governments caution their citizens about traveling to France, numerous trips have been canceled, casting a shadow over the luxury sector.

According to a research note by Berstein, the riots are expected to have a negative impact on the third-quarter performance of luxury companies, particularly in France. However, specific figures were not disclosed in the report.

While Celine made the decision to cancel its show, citing sensitivity to the mourning and turmoil in France, Paris haute couture week is proceeding as planned, thus far avoiding any disruptions. However, the situation remains tense, prompting security alerts from both the US Embassy in Paris and the Chinese Foreign Ministry, urging caution and avoidance of large gatherings amidst significant police activity, reported Yahoo.

Berstein's report drew attention to the riots that occurred in 2005, which led to a one-third cancellation rate among tourists at the time. Despite the unrest, France continues to hold its position as the preferred luxury shopping destination for American and Chinese tourists, commanding over 50 percent of duty-free spending. In May, duty-free sales in France surpassed pre-pandemic levels by 1.5 percent, with physical stores accounting for more than 85 percent of tax-free shopping, Yahoo said.

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