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The ‘Coming of Age’ of Luxury Shopping in India.

Updated: Jun 24


Sukriti Dubey explores the nuances of the Indian luxury market, where rising aspirations meet cultural heritage. She's a Content Strategist at LOCAL with a keen eye for the evolving consumer landscape, particularly in India.


Image: Copyright © Evoluzione, 2019, (branded by LOCAL)


For a nation historically valuing thrift and simplicity, India's relationship with luxury brands has seen a remarkable transformation in the past decade. Once a novelty accessible only to the affluent, luxury shopping has evolved into a widespread celebration of success and self-expression for the rising middle class.


If one is to believe the numbers, India's luxury market is projected to reach $8.5 billion by 2023, up from just $2.5 billion in 2021, according to Euromonitor International data. Even more staggering is Bain & Co's prediction that India could hit a $200 billion luxury market by 2030. And if we look at the cultural shift, it’s easy to see that the luxury juggernaut is undeniably rolling, pushed by rising incomes, changing consumer aspirations, and, to put it simply, FOMO.


"For a nation historically valuing thrift and simplicity, India's relationship with luxury brands has seen a remarkable transformation in the past decade."


The Indian consumer’s psyche is evolving. The pandemic, in particular, seems to have catalyzed a 'carpe diem' mindset, prompting many Indians to indulge in life's finer things without guilt or delay, eschewing the previous mindset of patiently waiting for discounts.


However, this newfound appetite for luxury transcends mere wealth signaling. It represents a nuanced interplay of aspiration, self-expression, and a desire for quality products that reflect one's individuality and cosmopolitan identity. Luxury is no longer about just the bling and flash – it’s about asserting yourself socially while displaying a taste for the finer things in life.


Notably, as India embraces luxury, it does so on its own terms. Successful brands have recognized the need to adapt to local sensibilities and cultural nuances. From jewelry inspired by traditional Indian designs (think Bvlgari’s mangalsutras) to recent fashion collaborations with local artists (Dior), luxury labels are infusing offerings with Indian cultural elements to strike a chord with consumers seeking authenticity.


Moreover, the rise of prominent homegrown luxury brands challenges the notion that luxury is an exclusively ‘Western’ or first world domain. Indian designers like Sabyasachi, Rahul Mishra, and Anita Dongre have cultivated global audiences while staying rooted in Indian aesthetic sensibilities.


Yet, amid this luxury renaissance, brands must navigate India's diverse consumer landscape carefully. The country's vastly varying tastes and income levels demand a nuanced, tailored approach from luxury players. Many have adopted a "mixed strategy" — keeping high-end products at lofty price points while offering more affordable accessories to attract a wider range of consumers.


Ultimately, luxury brands' success in India hinges on their ability to strike a delicate balance — offering aspirational products that feel accessible, embracing local aesthetics without compromising global cachet. It is a tightrope walk, but one promising rich rewards for those who master it!


Ultimately, luxury brands' success in India hinges on their ability to strike a delicate balance — offering aspirational products that feel accessible, embracing local aesthetics without compromising global cachet.


As India's love affair with luxury blossoms, one truth is evident — the country's shopping landscape is being reshaped. What was once a rarity is now a widespread revelry, a celebration of India's rising affluence and evolving preferences. For luxury brands willing to adapt and cater to the nuances of the Indian market, a world of opportunities awaits.

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