News 30.04.2024

Need to Know

Walpole British Luxury Summit recap, Heineken and Bodega unveil The Boring Phone and why the single tax makes women more financially unstable.

Industry insights from the Walpole British Luxury Summit 2024

Surrenne at The Emory, London, UK Surrenne at The Emory, London, UK

UK – Held at The Londoner Hotel on Monday 29 April, the Walpole British Luxury Summit brought together over 300 luxury professionals for a day of expert talks, panel discussions and exclusive insights. ‘Where is next for luxury?’ was the key question explored throughout the 2024 edition of the event.

As luxury’s recent growth cooldown spreads a wave of concern, strategic challenges and opportunities for the luxury sector in 2024 and beyond were on the agenda. Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank kicked off the day by emphasising that British luxury matters. Not only does the sector matter in terms of economic weight – accounting for about 4% of the UK’s GDP – it currently supports 454,000 jobs across the country. Moreover, one in 10 new jobs created in the UK are in luxury, according to Walpole. ‘For global customers hungry for British craftsmanship and excellence, luxury matters,’ said Brocklebank. ‘We cannot be complacent about that as a sector.’

Throughout the jam-packed day, speakers explored how the industry’s fastest-growing players prepare for success in the face of uncertainty. Sessions touched on the broad range of business priorities that luxury businesses have to balance, including how to prioritise people and future-proof skills, harness tech innovation, marry concerns about the planet with making profit, understand the dynamics of emerging markets, and more.

Look out for our in-depth coverage of the event in our luxury section, where we will distil key takeaways your business should take on board to thrive in the increasingly competitive landscape.

Strategic opportunity

As the luxury sector readies for times of greater polarisation and slower growth, do not let uncertainty hinder innovative thinking. Instead, reframe it as an opportunity to enact disruption and bolder strategic moves

Heineken and Bodega unveil The Boring Phone to encourage offline social connections

The Boring Phone by Heineken, Milan Design Week, Italy The Boring Phone by Heineken, Milan Design Week, Italy
The Boring Phone by Heineken and Bodega, Milan Design Week, Italy The Boring Phone by Heineken and Bodega, Milan Design Week, Italy

Italy – In response to smartphones’ growing dominance and impact on real-life interactions, beer specialist Heineken and Bodega, a conceptual retail space encompassing street culture and contemporary fashion, have unveiled The Boring Phone. This collaboration aims to inspire better nights out by offering a device stripped of internet access and social media distractions.

Making its debut at Milan Design Week 2024, The Boring Phone is a limited-edition handset designed to facilitate genuine connections. Developed by European mobile innovator Human Mobile Devices (HMD), the phone only features calling and texting capabilities.

Research in the UK and US commissioned by Heineken underlines the need for such interventions, revealing that 90% of Zillennials admit to being glued to their smartphones while socialising. With The Boring Phone, individuals can escape the digital noise and focus on in-person interactions.

‘We want to help people experience the joy of true togetherness,’ said Nabil Nasser, global head of Heineken, in a statement. The Boring Phone initiative underlines a collective effort to reclaim quality time with loved ones and increase authentic social experiences – a trend we forecast in our Quiet Mode microtrend report.

Strategic opportunity

Retailers and hospitality specialists should consider creating environments that encourage offline interactions and community engagement, aligning with the ethos of The Boring Phone initiative

Beavertown Brewery and CALM launch mental health awareness crisps

Beavertown Brewery, UK Beavertown Brewery, UK

UK – British brewery Beavertown, renowned for craft beers like Neck Oil and Gamma Ray, has joined forces with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to introduce a unique initiative. Their collaboration has created a new range of crisps designed to foster open discussions about mental health.

The Cheddar and Jalapeno crisps feature prompts by CALM encouraging consumers to engage in meaningful conversations. Designed as conversation-starters, questions like ‘What gets you through tough times?’ and ‘If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?’ are printed on the crisp packets, urging friends to share deeper thoughts.

Research by Beavertown highlights that over half of UK adults have feigned being okay to avoid discussing mental health. In addition, 46% of 18–44-year-olds admit to lacking the know-how to initiate such conversations with friends.

Recognising pubs as social hubs, the campaign acknowledges the potential for authentic connections through honest dialogue and encourages individuals to feel comfortable speaking up. As revealed in Civic Brands, Beavertown and CALM’s initiative shows how brands can step in and act like forces for good in society.

Strategic opportunity

Brands should consider how to craft influential marketing initiatives that transcend conventional messaging to instigate important conversations and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility

Stat: The single tax makes women more financially unstable

Diffuse Sweat Headband by Gymshark, UK Diffuse Sweat Headband by Gymshark, UK

US – A US survey conducted in April 2024 by Qualtrics on behalf of Intuit Credit Karma sheds light on the financial challenges faced by single women, with nearly a quarter (23%) lacking any emergency savings. The study found that 26% of single women in the US cite the high cost of living solo as a major stressor. These financial strains are exacerbated by inflated prices, as shown by the recent surge in the US producer price index.

Single women, who on average earn 16% less than men, are disproportionately affected, with 29% having no emergency funds compared to 20% of coupled women. Furthermore, 35% struggle to afford basic necessities, leading almost one in 10 to resort to debt. This financial pressure often extends to social obligations, with 21% expressing frustration at shouldering the costs of friends’ life milestones.

While some seek financial relief through relationships, others prioritise independence, with 65% believing they can achieve major financial milestones alone. Despite this, coupled women also face financial complexities, with 16% financially dependent on their partners.

The survey underlines a shifting paradigm among women, who are prioritising career advancement and debt repayment over traditional life milestones. In FemFin: Female-forward Finance and Millennials Now and Next: From Pink to Prime, we analysed how women are getting more and more financially literate and will soon become Equity Agitators in and out of the workplace – whether they are married, single or part of a new kind of restructured family.

Strategic opportunity

Consider implementing flexible financial products, services or payment options that cater for the unique needs and challenges of single women, such as customisable savings plans or loan options with flexible repayment terms

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