Strong market for luxury design products despite recession

The Numi smart toilet by Kohler.

In spite of the recession, the market for luxury goods is still steady with the affluent customer still wanting to purchase high quality goods at a higher price.

John Hart, chief creative officer – interiors, Kohler, said the market is starting to take a barbell or hourglass shape, with the high end of the market doing very well.

“That middle part of the market is shrinking a little; in some places customers are moving up, in others, they’re moving down,” he added.

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He said as far as Kohler is concerned, it is still pursuing its products for the affluent customer very consciously.

Tristan Butterfield, creative director, Kohler, agreed and said the economic crisis caused the market to polarise. “The luxurious customer became more luxurious and value-for-money became more important. Companies were bringing out value driven products very quickly,” he said.

Mary Reid, vice president – industrial design, Kohler, said the situation with the market for luxury goods is an interesting situation to consider as a manufacturer as there’s a great opportunity to bring two ideas together – the unfortunate situation with the economy and sustainability.

“It’s an interesting time to be thinking where we want to be in the long haul versus conditions in the world today,” she added.

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