When luxury takes to the snowy peaks

To target a wealthy clientele with a passion for winter sports and well-being, leading luxury brands are stepping up their presence in prestigious ski resorts. Innovative collaborations, pop-up stores and the development of permanent lines testify to this promising trend.

 

After the Dior pop-up store at the Chinese Lake Songhua Resort last February, the opening of a Hermès boutique in the upscale American Aspen resort last summer, and the announcement of a Chanel pop-up showcasing its Coco Neige line in Gstaad, Switzerland, at the end of 2023, luxury brands are increasingly investing in the most glamorous ski resorts on the planet. The goal is to conquer these holiday destinations and target a high-income family clientele driven by passion for both winter sports and well-being. This comes at a time when luxury brands have long been underrepresented in these snowy environments.

 

One of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the increased interest of consumers in healthier lifestyles and nature-focused activities such as camping, hiking, and boating. In the United States, 82% of people reported participating in such activities compared to 60% in 2020, while in the United Kingdom, nearly half of those surveyed said they spend more time outdoors than before the pandemic. In China, by the end of 2021, over 400 million people were engaged in outdoor sports, and between 2021 and 2023, the search for the term “outdoor” on the Chinese Tmall market increased by over 600%.

 

This trend is a boon for outdoor sportswear brands, many of which have also benefited from the emergence of the “gorpcore” trend in recent years. “Gorpcore,” derived from the expression “Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts” (gorp), refers to the blend of trail and running. Outdoor enthusiasts and young urbanites are drawn to gorpcore’s functional fashion products, such as technical jackets and hiking sneakers.

 

In 2022, revenues in the “outdoor” category increased by 24% compared to the pre-pandemic period, attracting the attention of financial decision-makers. Since the pandemic, outdoor clothing has become a highly active investment category, with transactions involving brands and retailers such as Moosejaw, Marathon Sports, and Topo Athletic.

 

Emergence of new brands

 

Many sports brands that have experienced rapid growth in recent years are positioned in the “outdoor” category. In July 2023, The North Face announced its tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit sales growth, while Amer Sports, supported by a consortium led by the Chinese sportswear giant Anta, plans to evolve Salomon and Arc’teryx, niche brands for skiing and climbing.

 

 

 

A similar evolution is taking place for technical running and trail running brands such as Hoka and On, owned by Deckers, which have found loyal customers within the running communities before their innovative and highly comfortable solutions captivated a broader audience.

 

On reported a 69% year-on-year increase in its revenue to $1.3 billion for 2022, surpassing analysts’ expectations, while Hoka is on track to achieve $2 billion in annual revenue.

 

Adoption by luxury brands

 



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Read also>EPHEMERAL LUXURY: THE RISE OF POP-UP STORES IN 2023

Featured photo : © Giorgio Armani Neve

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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