Bain & Co. last month updated its previously grim forecast for the global luxury goods industry, predicting that sales of high-end jewelry, clothing and accessories will rise 4% in 2010 to €158 billion, following an unprecedented 8% drop last year, which Bain called "the worst year ever" for the industry. To be sure, even if luxury sales grow to Bain’s predicted level, they will still be lower than they were four years ago. Sales may not recover to peak 2007 levels—€170 billion—until 2012, said Milan-based Bain partner Claudia D’Arpizio.

PARIS – Hermès Sales Underline Luxury-Goods Revival….Luxury goods are back in fashion.French high-end fashion house Hermès International Thursday said first-quarter sales jumped 19%, the latest luxury purveyor to unveil a strong rebound after last year’s sales were smacked by the economic crisis. Hermès, whose Kelly bags and silk scarves are luxury classics, said sales totaled €508 million ($651.3 million) in the first three months of the year, compared with €472 million a year earlier.Hermès’ forecast-beating numbers capped a dynamic start to the year for luxury. Industry leader LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the maker of Louis Vuitton handbags and Veuve Clicquot champagne, last month reported an 11% surge in first-quarter sales.
By Mimosa Spencer and Christina Passariello, May 7, 2010 WSJ

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