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The success of luxury brands in Japan and their uncertain future


  • Ronald J. Degen

    () (International School of Management Paris)


The Japanese are the world?s largest individual consumers of luxury brands and form the second largest market for luxury goods after the US. The Japanese were the driving force behind the exponential growth of the European luxury industry and the resulting ?democratization of luxury?. This concept of giving everyone access to luxury branded goods is a paradox because it abandons the exclusivity that was the original basis of the European luxury industry in the hands of skilled designers and craftsmen. By making luxury branded goods widely accessible to most consumers they run a major risk of becoming simply too ?common?. The 2007-8 economic crisis adversely affected the luxury market, producing a general backlash against ?conspicuous consumption?. In Japan, as in most countries in the world, the crisis reduced consumers? discretionary spending, but in addition it also accelerated the fundamental shift in the attitude and behavior of Japanese luxury consumers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald J. Degen, 2010. "The success of luxury brands in Japan and their uncertain future," Working Papers 52, globADVANTAGE, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.
  • Handle: RePEc:pil:wpaper:52

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ronald Jean Degen, 2009. "Opportunity for luxury brands in China," Working Papers 31, globADVANTAGE, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gian Luca Gregori & Silvia Cardinali & Meri Travaglini, 2013. "Imprese calzaturiere e competitività nel mercato mondiale: il caso di una media luxury brand company," MERCATI E COMPETITIVITÀ, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(3), pages 151-168.

    More about this item


    Japanese consumers of luxury brands; Japan the largest luxury market in the world; conspicuous consumption; democratization of luxury; luxury brands as status symbols; luxury brands as badges of economic success; parasite singles;

    JEL classification:

    • M0 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - General
    • M1 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration

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