Hugo Boss couldn’t quite become the boss of luxury.
Newly appointed CEO of Hugo Boss Mark Langer says the 92-year-old German brand will be abandoning its attempt to become a true luxury brand.
“The effort to make in-roads in the luxury market didn’t prove to be particularly helpful for our business,” Langer said in an interview with German language newspaper Handelsblatt, according to Reuters.
Langer assured Handelsblatt that the company would remain a premium brand, however, just not quite what it was aspiring to be.
This comes after a concentrated effort by former CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs in recent years to diversify the previously menswear-focused retailer and take it further upmarket as the worldwide luxury market expanded in the early-to-mid 2010s.
Now, the luxury market is in a harsh worldwide slump, especially affecting the US and Chinese markets prompting Hugo Boss’s shift. Apparel — especially luxury apparel — just seems like less of a priority for purchase than technology or a nice vacation.
This is primarily blamed on changing buying habits, with more shoppers — even affluent ones — preferring logo-free clothing and fast fashion apparel to luxury apparel. Fast fashion has seemed to replace department store shopping — even if it’s not always cheaper.
Other factors affecting the worldwide luxury slowdown, like economic and political uncertainty in the US and changing tastes in China, have contributed to the tough times.
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