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Luxury goods stay on trend

From Juliet Mann, CNN
updated 2:55 PM EST, Thu January 19, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Luxury brand name goods are bucking the trend of falling retail sales
  • Retail sales fell by 2.5% in the eurozone during 2011
  • Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Prada have all reported double digit sales growth in recent months

(CNN) -- Retail sales may have fallen in Europe over the last year but the continent's top luxury brands are keeping the cash registers ringing.

Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Prada have all reported double digit sales growth in recent months, in stark contrast to the retail industry as a whole.

Read about Burberry's strong sales growth

Figures from Eurostat show that retail sales fell by 2.5% in the 17-nation eurozone between November 2010 and 2011, and by 1.3% across the 27-member European Union during the same period.

One casualty of the sales slump was UK based supermarket giant, Tesco -- the world's third largest retailer -- which was forced to offer a profit warning in the wake of a disappointing UK Christmas trading period. It saw a 2.3% fall of like for like sales on the previous year.

Read about Tesco's nightmare before Christmas

Richard Perks, director of Retail Research at industry analysis company MINTEL, said Europe's luxury brands have remained relatively unaffected by reduced retail spending because the global consumer base for luxury goods is growing.

Perks told CNN an increasing numbers of wealthy consumers in regions such as Asia are driving demand for Europe's most renowned luxury brand name products.

Read about Prada's booming Asian profits

High end retailers are tapping this growing market -- which has softened the blow of reduced consumer spending and weaker sales growth in Europe, he said.

CNN's Eoghan Macguire contributed to this story.

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