Marque Luxury expands to Vietnam, eyes high-growth Asian market

30, Jun. 2021

The coveted Birkin bag is one of the top luxury items in Marque Luxury's vast inventory. (Photo: Marque luxury)
The coveted Birkin bag is one of the top luxury items in Marque Luxury's vast inventory. (Photo: Marque luxury)

By Celine Chen

SINGAPORE, NNA - Marque Luxury has set up shop in Ho Chi Minh city as it expands further in the rapidly growing Southeast Asia market for people to sell and buy pre-owned luxury goods.

The rising American player in luxury resale industry is running its showroom in affiliation with Nanboya, a leading Japanese company also dealing in pre-owned luxury products in a pre-owned space in Bao Viet Financial Center.

Marque Luxury Pte. Ltd. (MLS) is a majority shareholder of the Vietnam's shares, with the remainder held by Nguyen Huu Hanh, a Vietnamese entrepreneur, said the company when announcing the outlet's opening in a press release last week.

The company, which boasts an expansive inventory of top luxury brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, has grown its presence across Asia, in countries like Singapore, which is the regional headquarters, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Dian Sugialam, executive director of Marque Luxury Asia, said, "The resale market in Asia is becoming more popular daily, matching our counterparts around the world. We look forward to strengthening our presence in Asia and supplying customers with luxury handbags, backed by Marque's cutting edge authentication technologies."

The economic boom in Vietnam has jacked up the appetite for luxury fashion, leather bags and watches among a growing middle class with discerning tastes and young consumers captivated by local celebrities and socialites flaunting designer fashion of French and Italian houses.

The country’s luxury goods market is poised to grow to $1.14 billion this year, and accelerate at an average of 7.17 percent a year from 2021 to 2025, according to a Vietnam Express article reporting Statista data.

Global revenue of the luxury goods market is expected to hit over $309 billion this year, with the fashion segment commanding a third of the share, according to Statista website. The market is expected to grow annually by 5.44 percent till 2025.

Nhi Tran, a senior insights manager at Isentia, said, “Vietnam is at its entry stage of the luxury industry, which has been fueled by economic growth, the rise of e-commerce, celebrities, and international travels. The growing need of owning genuine products pose opportunities in the Vietnam market. However, luxury brands would need a strategic move to win over counterfeits and second-hand supplies.”

Here lies the big opportunity for Marque Luxury and Nanboya, which offer not only verification of authenticity but also more affordable prices for pre-owned products in good condition.

Marque Luxury, which is collaborating with key distributors in Asia and North America, had earlier inked an agreement with the Valuence Group of Japan, to support their sourcing efforts in Asia under the Nanboya brand.

Marque Luxury Pte. Ltd. (MLS) is a joint venture with Singapore-based Polaris Ltd, an Apple and Dyson reseller which ventured into pre-loved luxury goods in 2019.

"The COVID-19 pandemic makes the move timely. The pre-owned luxury goods sector remained resilient, with steady demand growth. Through our investment in Marque Luxury Pte Ltd, we intend to harness this growth engine and strategically expand our presence in select markets to establish ourselves as a global leader in the pre-owned luxury goods space with a focus on Business to Business (B2B)," said Polaris chairman Sugiono Wiyono Sugialam and CEO Pontus Soennerstedt in a joint message to shareholders this year.

In a press statement last week, Soennerstedt stressed that sustainability is a key pillar of its business goals in the region.

"We are very encouraged by the progress of MLS, our Marque joint venture, which is rapidly growing our exposure to the circular economy," he said.

Emerging markets like Vietnam may offer the most potential even with the transition of 2020 to 2021 shaping up to be another challenging year for the global economy, said Lady Ochel Espinosa, a regional insights manager for emerging markets at Isentia.

She said while consumer spending for luxury items has remained resilient in Southeast Asia, it does not mean that it would see "skyrocketing growth rates as we enter a post-pandemic period."

It would be more meaningful to see "what, when, and where emerging consumers are buying, but also why they make their choices," she said.

In Vietnam, the luxury retail market has remained stable despite the scourge of the pandemic afflicting large swaths of Southeast Asia.

Retailers, who get most of their business from locals, are not reliant on foreign customers even while international travel is restricted, said Savills property agency.

However, demand for retail space in prime locations is still high and adding upward pressure on rentals, noted Savills.

Consumer spending in Vietnam is expected to continue rising over the next few years despite the detection of new wave of COVID-19 infections recently.

In 2019, Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached more than $329 billion. It is expected to rise to about $567 billion by 2026, according to Statista.

Government estimates showed the Vietnamese economy grew 2.9 percent last year. Asian Development Bank has projected its GDP to grow 6.7 percent this year, and 7 percent in 2022.