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How These Luxury Brands Have Fared Through COVID-19

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Tony Neil Thompson / Shutterstock.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on retail industries that are not essential, especially luxury brands. At a time when economic stressors have increased unemployment rates and made international travel a challenge, people just aren’t spending their money on high-end clothing, jewelry and other such items.

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Here, GOBankingRates takes a snapshot of how luxury brands have fared during COVID-19. We referenced Forbes’ ranking of the most valuable brands of 2020 to identify the top six most valuable luxury brands in the world, their Forbes brand value ranking, their estimated brand value and their one-year value change. Then, we looked at each company’s most recent quarterly or annual financial report to demonstrate details about their performance through 2020. Take a look at how these brands have been doing.

Last updated: Feb. 18, 2021
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Louis Vuitton

  • Forbes rank: 9
  • Value: $47.2 billion
  • 1-year change: 20%

LVMH Moët Hennessy, parent company of Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group, recorded revenue of 44.7 billion euros in 2020, down 17%. Organic revenue declined 16% compared to 2019. With an organic revenue decline of only 3% in the fourth quarter, the group saw a significant improvement in trends in all its activities compared to the first nine months of 2020. Its success is related to a combination of iconic and new products at Louis Vuitton.

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Gucci

  • Forbes rank: 31
  • Value: $22.6 billion
  • 1-year change: 22%

Gucci’s revenue picked up sharply in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the prior quarter. Revenue was down 12.1% compared to the same period in 2019 and 8.9% on a comparable basis. Retail sales were down 4.0% on a comparable basis most likely due to a lack of tourists, especially in Western Europe and Japan. It did, however, perform well in North America (up 43.7%) and in the Asia-Pacific arena (up 10.6%).

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Hermes

  • Forbes rank: 32
  • Value: $21.6 billion
  • 1-year change: 19%

After a second quarter hit hard by the pandemic, sales in the third quarter were driven by strong activity in the group’s stores, increased momentum in Asia and a significant improvement in all other geographical areas. At the end of September 2020, the group’s consolidated revenue is still down 14% at current exchange rates.

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Chanel

  • Forbes rank: 52
  • Value: $12.8 billion
  • 1-year change: 42%

Despite a strong start to the year, the temporary closure of boutiques in all regions due to COVID-19 reduced revenue and earnings for the full year of 2020. Currently, Chanel is reopening boutiques on a country-by-country basis, in accordance with government guidance and proceeding with optimistic caution.

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Cartier

  • Forbes rank: 56
  • Value: $12.2 billion
  • 1-year change: 14%

Cartier’s parent company, Richemont, experienced a 1% increase in sales at actual exchange rates in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2020. It saw a strong performance from the Jewellery Maisons (Cartier + Van Cleef & Arpels) but COVID-19 restrictions and their impact on international tourism and temporary closures at points of sales in line did take a toll. Overall, however, sales grew in all regions except Europe, and across all channels.

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Rolex

  • Forbes rank: 80
  • Value: $9.5 billion
  • 1-year change: 5%

The Swiss watch industry has been a hard-hit casualty of the coronavirus. In March 2020, Swiss watch exports dropped 21.9% overall by value compared with the previous year. Rolex pulled new releases from its 2020 calendar but reopened its factory in May 2020.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates takes a snapshot of how luxury brands have fared in COVID-19. We referenced Forbes’ ranking of The Most Valuable Brands of 2020 (based on fiscal year 2019 data) to identify the top six most valuable luxury brands in the world, their Forbes brand value ranking, their estimated brand value, and their one-year value change. Then, we looked at each company’s most recent quarterly or annual financial report to demonstrate details about their performance through 2020. Entries in the “2020 Performance” column link to their financial reports from which they were pulled. All data was collected on and up to date as of Feb. 2, 2021.