Unmasking the New Luxe: A Tale of Resilience, Adaptability and Evolution

In the expansive world of luxury goods, an exhilarating narrative is unfolding. It's not just about diamond-encrusted watches or haute couture anymore – it's about the new definition of luxury, the shifts and turns it’s taking, and how these changes are shaking up the sector.

Our latest "RiskPulse: Luxury Goods Sector 2023" report unravels the intricacies of this ever-changing landscape. 

Despite an economic roller coaster and a moderate Worldwide Risk Score (WRS) of 4.6 out of 10, the sector remains resilient. Luxury, it seems, has a tenacity that cannot be easily undermined.

Fueling this resilience is the sector’s growing appeal in emerging markets. Asia is blooming as a luxury hotspot, with its affluent middle class showing an insatiable appetite for the finer things in life. Yet, it's not just Asia that’s transforming the luxury map; the Middle East too is stepping up, staking its claim in the luxury narrative.

But as we navigate this brave new world of luxury, it’s not just about who’s buying, but also what they're buying into. Consumers are demanding more than just exquisitely crafted products; they want their purchases to embody sustainability and ethical sourcing. These values are no longer a choice but a necessity for brands that wish to thrive in the contemporary luxury ecosystem.

And let’s not forget the digital frontier. As e-commerce platforms bring luxury to doorsteps, brands are faced with the challenge of replicating the exclusive in-store experience in the virtual space. It’s a thrilling era of innovation as luxury explores new ways of enchanting its customers.

The Luxury Goods 2023 report is an invitation to dive deep into this fascinating world. It’s a must-read for those wishing to stay ahead of the curve, understand the sector’s shifts and turns, and glean insights into the future of luxury. Your journey into the heart of luxury starts here.


Fashion & Apparel 2023

In today's rapidly changing world, understanding the risks and opportunities in the Fashion and Apparel (F&A) sector is crucial for businesses to stay ahead. At Baker Ing, we are committed to providing in-depth analysis and insights to help your business thrive. We're excited to announce the release of our comprehensive 38-page report, which offers a detailed overview of the F&A industry and its challenges.

The report, available for download at https://bakering.global/product/report-fashion-apparel-2023/, reveals a moderate Worldwide Risk Score (WRS) of 4.5 out of 10 for the F&A sector. Supply chain complexity emerges as the primary risk factor, as global value chains are increasingly vulnerable due to logistical challenges and political tensions.

However, there is a silver lining. The F&A sector is poised for post-COVID expansion, driven by the burgeoning Asia Pacific market. As businesses adapt to the evolving landscape, they must address several critical areas:

  • Invest in supply chain management and AI technologies: A robust supply chain strategy and cutting-edge technologies will enable businesses to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities.
  • Respond to environmental and ethical demands: Consumers are more aware than ever of the environmental and ethical implications of their purchasing decisions. Companies must adapt to meet these expectations by incorporating sustainable practices and transparent policies.
  • Embrace e-commerce and digitalization: The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards e-commerce and digital solutions. Businesses must embrace these trends to remain competitive in the rapidly evolving F&A industry.

This comprehensive report provides valuable insights and guidance for businesses navigating the complex landscape of the Fashion and Apparel sector. Download the full 38-page report today at https://bakering.global/product/report-fashion-apparel-2023/ and equip your business with the knowledge and insights needed to succeed.

Don't miss out on this essential resource for understanding the F&A industry. Download your copy now and stay informed about the risks and opportunities that lie ahead.

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Fashion & Apparel 2022


Fashion & Apparel 2022

What fashion-company casualties will there be now that we are moving back to a more normal trading environment? What impact will the shift have on companies who restructured their operations to survive lockdowns? Will they need to adapt once again to meet the needs of a new commercial environment, and are they capable of doing so quick enough if so?

With strengthening global trading conditions, there is much for the fashion industry to be positive about as we move into 2022. However, times are changing for the industry – if not, already changed. Just one example of the change we are seeing is stated in the Global Clothing B2C E-Commerce Market Report by Research and Markets which forecasts that over 50% of retail growth globally is expected to derive from online sales between 2020 and 2025. As with any structural changes, there will be those that manage to adapt quick enough to thrive, and those that fail to.

The pandemic of the past two years hit the fashion industry hard. Retail fashion was, at the beginning of 2020, still heavily reliant on footfall in physical shops. Further, the disruption to global trade generally had wide ranging and profound effect on fashion, from routes to market, to labour availability, supply chain management and marketing cycles. Sales fell, orders were cancelled, and inventories built up. Where businesses were able to adapt, they most often operated far below their volume capacities, with both increased operational costs and, in many cases, capital investment required in order to adapt, with consequent profit margin shrinkage.

As well operational disruption, we’ve further seen profound shifts in consumer demand over the past two years. Lockdowns drove down demand in the luxury, formal, accessories and beauty segments whilst increasing demand for leisure, active and comfort. This further disrupted businesses’ product development and marketing cycles, as well as profoundly impacting those with less diversified product ranges.

As we move into 2022, the industry now faces old challenges but on a new scale. Input shortages, logistical constraints and inflation are challenges the industry knows only too well. However, it now faces these old challenges in a weakened financial state, during a time of market volatility, and structural changes in consumer tastes and behaviours. Retention of Title is something credit managers need to secure post COVID, with the rise of both insolvency and phoenix companies. We have seen assets and goods being moved between different trading entities and shops, as well as being sold online through platforms such as e-Bay, Vinted and luxury-fashion second-hand sites.

Nonetheless, even though the most pressing challenges are the old enemies of inflation, supply-chain disruption, and cost-control, its vital to consider the new context these old challenges approach us in. Not only has the industry been weakened financially by the lockdowns but, the past two years has rapidly accelerated fundamental changes in the industry which must be considered too:


Social Responsibility


Social responsibility, for want of a better term, was both a building consumer trend and a political force before COVID. Over the past two years though, for a variety of reasons better left to sociology professors to dissect, we have seen social responsibility come very much to the fore – again, both politically and as a consumer trend. This was driven in large part by the increasing influence of younger consumers but has very much spread wider than that demographic to the point that socially responsible value judgements are now arguably the desired consumer standard, with anything falling below the perceived bar being deemed unacceptable and undesirable.

Interestingly it is the polar-opposite ends of the industry which have been most effected so far. Both the luxury and ‘fast-fashion’ segments have come under heavy scrutiny and companies have had to act. In the luxury segment, we see a subtle shift in marketing away from purely a positional-goods value proposition (i.e., exclusivity) to one of social values and association with those values via the brand. Equally, at the other end of the scale we have seen manufacturers focus action on sanitizing their supply chains and offsetting environmental impacts.

With the political and cultural Zeitgeist seeming to grow ever more enthusiastic for social responsibility in all its forms, it will be interesting to see how the industry can adapt to this new paradigm, being as it impacts both operational practices of companies, as well as influences consumer demands and behaviours. For example, younger consumers seem very happy to purchase second-hand luxury goods or will forego brands entirely which are perceived not match up to their high standards of socially responsible behaviour. How to square these thoroughly uncommercial values with the need to maintain sales volumes and margins is a problem not yet solved. That said, we have seen some shifts to this end, such as changes to manufacturing inputs, as well as marketing in many instances moving away from a trend-focus to more emphasis on timeless quality.




Linked to the above trend of social responsibility, it seems 2022 may be the year of regulation for the fashion industry. If social responsibility is the cultural trend influencing companies to change in line with their consumer’s demand, then ESG is the big stick of government demanding change. It is a topic we have covered previously and too large to cover here but, needless to say, the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance values codified in the ESG standards currently being applied by many financial institutions, and expected to be rolled out widely, could have profound effects on companies’ ability to access finance and professional services.

As well as the potentially existential threat which ESG standards could well be to certain segments, we also have a raft of other legislation recently introduced or incoming in 2022 which will impact all fashion companies; new European online sales legislation, the UK’s Green Claims Code, France’s carbon labelling and ‘anti-waste’ laws, the USA’s strengthening of the Garment Worker’s Protection Act…and probably more to come!

The fashion industry is under pressure to adapt faster than it would like and some segments don’t yet have a solution for their long-term survival.


Route to Market and Digitization


It goes without saying that the shift to online dominance is almost complete now. Those that have not yet managed to integrate digital channels into an omnichannel route-to-market strategy are most likely not with us any more….or won’t be for long. The best businesses are now focusing on how they integrate their digital and non-digital channels across the customer journey to really make the most of this new paradigm.

However, with the pervasiveness of new technology throughout companies’ operations, often adopted at speed over the past couple of years, we must be aware of the threat of cyber-attacks. This now represents a significant and widespread risk and it is imperative that credit managers are knowledgeable about the measures companies need to take to mitigate the risk.




Whilst there is much to be optimistic about as we enter more usual trading conditions, there is no doubt that the fashion industry in under severe pressure, being impacted more than most by the old challenges of inflation, supply chain management and cost-control. What is particularly concerning is that the industry faces these challenges from a weakened financial position after two years of restrictions, as well as being buffeted by some profound and rapid changes in consumer demand/behaviour, whilst fending off increasingly interventionalist legislation around the globe.

So, optimism is appropriate as we enter 2022 but, we must be vigilant of the high-risk environment fashion companies are operating in.


Cautionary tale 1 – international group goes into administration:

  • Trinity Group
  • Trinity Group is a Chinese-owned up-market fashion conglomerate. It owns several ‘heritage’ fashion businesses, including Kent & Curwen, Gieves & Hawkes, D’Urban (Japan) and Cerruti.
  • The Group went into administration early in January 2022 and is understood to be heavily indebted. Administration is thought to have become essential when it failed to find a buyer for its Gieves & Hawkes subsidiary.
  • A majority stake in Trinity is owned by Shundong Ruyl International, based in China. This does not mean that its subsidiaries are now in administration, but they have become assets in a struggle to find a way that will repay most to Trinity’s creditors.
  • The least likely outcome is a solvent third-party acquiring Trinity. The most likely outcome is the sale or disposal of the main subsidiaries, including; Gieves & Hawkes, Kent & Curwen; D’Urban (Japan), and Cerruti and Cerruti 1881.


Cautionary tale 2 – poor footfall forces administration:

  • Kesslers International is a major retail display business formed in 1888.
  • It was put into administration by its owner, the Hexcite Group, in December 2021 after trading at a loss for several years.
  • Sales for the most recent year were £20m.
  • Out of 160 staff, 125 have been made redundant.


Cautionary tale 3 – luxury brand fails:

  • Ralph & Russo, is a high-end fashion house with 450 employees.
  • The business was set up in 2006 and opened stores in London, Europe and the Middle East. It sells couture, bags, accessories and shoes.
  • The company went into administration in March 2021.
  • Ralph & Russo was bought out of administration in July 2021 by Retail Ecommerce Ventures (owner of Dressbarn, Steinmart and Pier 1).


Download the Report: https://bakering.global/product/report-fashion-apparel-europe-2022/