TOPMarket information[2023]Trends in the Luxury industry – Market forecast and Human Resources in Japan

[2023]Trends in the Luxury industry – Market forecast and Human Resources in Japan

Market information


  • Nicolas Rafenomanjato

    Bilingual Executive Recruiter with more than 20 years of experience in the European and Japanese fashion and luxury sectors.
    My focus is understanding talents and business needs, and leveraging my influential network to match professionals with ideal opportunities. Let's connect to navigate towards your dream career.


What are the current trends in the luxury industry?

In recent years, the trend of luxury in Japan has been characterized by a growing interest in high-end fashion, fine dining, and exclusive experiences.
Japanese consumers have a strong appreciation for quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and sophisticated design, which has led to the success of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Hermes in the Japanese market.
Additionally, there has been an increased demand for luxury travel experiences, such as staying at high-end hotels and resorts, and visiting exclusive cultural and entertainment venues.

What is the demand/supply situation for human resources in the luxury industry?

The current demand for human power in the luxury industry in Japan is relatively high, as brands continue to expand their presence in the country and seek to provide a high level of customer service to Japanese consumers.
In particular, there is a strong demand for skilled professionals in areas such as sales, marketing, customer service, and product development.
However, the supply of human power in the industry in Japan can be somewhat limited, as the industry is highly competitive and requires a specific set of skills and knowledge.
Many luxury brands prefer to hire individuals with a background in fashion, luxury retail, or hospitality, and may also require proficiency in multiple languages, mainly English.
Overall, the demand for human power in the luxury industry in Japan is expected to remain strong in the coming years, as luxury brands continue to invest in the Japanese market and compete for a share of the country’s affluent consumer base.
As such, there may be opportunities for individuals with the right skills and experience to pursue a career in this dynamic and fast-paced industry.

What are the challenges in recruiting talent in the luxury industry?

There are several challenges in recruiting talent in the luxury industry in Japan.
One of the primary challenges is the highly competitive nature of the industry, which makes it difficult for companies to attract and retain top talent.
Luxury brands in Japan must compete with each other, as well as with other industries that offer attractive career opportunities.
Another challenge is the need for a specific skill set and knowledge base. The luxury industry requires individuals with a deep understanding of luxury products, high-end customer service, and an ability to cater to the unique needs and expectations of affluent consumers. This can make it difficult to find candidates with the right combination of experience and expertise.
Additionally, the language barrier can be a challenge, as many luxury brands require employees who are business/fluent in English. This can limit the pool of qualified candidates, especially if the brand is not located in a major metropolitan area where language skills are more prevalent.

Finally, the industry can be demanding, with long hours and high expectations. This can make it difficult to find individuals who are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to succeed in the industry.
Overall, the challenges in recruiting talent require companies to be creative and strategic in their approach to attracting and retaining top talent.
This may involve offering competitive compensation packages, investing in training and development programs, and creating a company culture that fosters employee engagement and retention.

What are the key points for executive recruiters to find the best talents in the luxury industry?

To find the best talents in Japan, headhunters should consider the following key points:
1. Understand the industry
Have a deep understanding of the luxury industry in Japan, including the key players, trends, and challenges. This will enable to identify top talent and provide valuable insights to clients.
2. Look for transferable skills
While specific experience in the luxury industry is valuable, recruiters should also look for individuals with transferable skills and a strong track record of success in related fields, such as fashion, hospitality, or high-end retail.
3. Identify language skills
Identify candidates with strong language skills, particularly in English, which is often required. Candidates who are fluent in multiple languages have a competitive advantage.
4. Seek referrals
Referrals from trusted sources, such as industry associations, professional networks, and current employees, can be a valuable source of top talent.
5. Assess cultural fit
The luxury industry in Japan has a unique culture and values, and it is important for headhunters to assess candidates’ cultural fit with the organization and the industry as a whole.
6. Consider potential
Look beyond a candidate’s current skills and experience and consider their potential for growth and development within the organization.
7. Leverage technology
Executive recruiter should leverage technology, such as social media, job boards, and candidate databases, to identify and connect with top talent in the luxury industry in Japan.

Overall, by focusing on these key points, headhunters can identify and attract the best talents, helping organizations to build a strong team and remain competitive in the market.

What is your advice on career development in the luxury industry?

  1. Develop expertise
    To succeed in the luxury industry, it is important to develop expertise in a specific area, such as marketing, product development, or customer service. This can be achieved through education, training, and on-the-job experience.
    2. Network
    Building a strong professional network can be valuable for career development. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with others in the field through social media.
    3. Seek international experience
    In a global environment such as international luxury company, it can be valuable to gain overseas work experience. This can broaden your perspective and provide valuable insights into different markets and cultures.
    4. Stay up-to-date on industry trends
    For an industry in constant evolution, it is important to stay up to date on the latest trends and innovations. Read industry publications, attend conferences, and seek out learning opportunities.
    5. Be adaptable
    The luxury industry is known for its fast pace and constant change, be adaptable and flexible in your approach to work. This may involve learning new skills, taking on new responsibilities, and being open to new ideas and ways of working.
    6. Cultivate a strong work ethic
    Success often comes down to hard work and dedication. Cultivate a strong work ethic, and be willing to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional results.
    7. Embrace diversity and inclusion
    More than ever, the industry is increasingly focused on diversity and inclusion, and companies are seeking individuals who can bring a range of perspectives and experiences to the table.
    Embrace diversity and inclusion in your own career and seek out companies that prioritize these values.

Overall, to succeed in the luxury industry in Japan and globally, it is important to cultivate expertise, build a strong network, seek international experience, stay up-to-date on industry trends, be adaptable, cultivate a strong work ethic, and embrace diversity and inclusion.

What are the changes in the luxury industry post-pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry in Japan and globally. In Japan, the pandemic has disrupted the traditional shopping and travel patterns of affluent consumers, who are a key market segment for luxury brands. This has led to changes in consumer behavior and preferences, as well as shifts in the way that luxury brands do business.
One major change as a result of the pandemic has been the rise of e-commerce and online sales. With many consumers staying at home and avoiding in-person shopping experiences, luxury brands have had to pivot their strategies to focus more on online channels. This has led to a greater investment in e-commerce platforms, digital marketing, and social media, as brands seek to engage with customers in new and innovative ways.

Another change has been a greater focus on local customers. With international travel restricted, luxury brands have had to shift their attention to domestic markets and find new ways to reach local consumers. This has included a greater emphasis on personalized experiences, local events and collaborations, and regional marketing campaigns.

Overall, the pandemic has forced luxury brands in Japan and globally to be more agile and adaptable, as they navigate the rapidly changing market conditions. While the long-term impact of the pandemic on the luxury industry remains to be seen, it is clear that brands that can pivot quickly and respond to changing consumer needs and preferences will be better positioned to succeed in the post-pandemic world.

Nicolas Rafenomanjato (he/him)
Executive Senior Consultant
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ニコラ ラフェノマンジャト


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