Jordan's luxury shoppers undeterred by financial difficulties
Although the commercial sector in the Kingdom is facing a slowdown due to a drop in consumer spending, suppliers of luxury goods describe the demand for the expensive items as “good” and even surging.
Several managers and owners of retail shops that sell luxury brands such as perfumes, clothing, designer handbags, watches and home accessories, expressed their satisfaction with the current market demand in interviews with The Jordan Times.
They said they were happy with the customer turnout, but noted that many clients who used to buy expensive items have started to select lower-priced goods or check for offers and sales.
Khaldoun Libzo, shop manager of Mont Blanc, told The Jordan Times that customers are still loyal to the brand despite the worsening economic situation in the country, but they are now “more selective” when spending their money.
“In our shop in particular, customers tend to buy more gifts than items for their personal use,” he said, pointing out that sales have increased this year.
Abeer Jaradeh, another manager at a store that sells home accessories in one of the upscale malls in the capital, said the demand on luxury goods is coming from tourists, expatriates and non-Jordanian residents.
“Foreigners are mostly the ones who are spending money on luxurious items in our market,” added Jaradeh, the shop manager of Sia Home Accessories.
She blamed the sluggish demand of Jordanian citizens on low incomes and high living costs.
Mohammad Salha, shop manager of Victoria’s Secret Perfumes and Accessories, described the market ahead of the Eid Al Adha holiday as “unfruitful” and “very slow”.
But he said that despite the difficult financial circumstances facing many consumers, demand for their merchandise was still good.
“People no longer stick to the tradition of buying Eid clothes for all family members like before, Jordanian designer Dania Dahleh noted.
Jordanian customers look for luxury but with more reasonable prices these days; they want to look trendy, luxurious and fashionable, but with lower price tags, Dahleh told The Jordan Times.
“For me, as I custom-design outfits and couture dresses, ladies are going for medium brand fabrics,” she said.
Most companies that import luxury brands are choosing to take on the burden of the newly increased customs duty on imported clothes, said Ahmad Douglas, manager of the Michael Kors Handbags and Accessories Shop.
“For our international brand, we cannot afford to increase prices more than other global markets, so we will take the load of the high customs duty rather than putting it on our loyal customers,” Douglas added.