Vivian Alvarez Rosales, co-chair of Tuck's Luxury and Retail Club, explains how luxury goods can be treated as an asset, and why luxury goods sales may be recession proof.
What are the main aims of the Luxury and Retail Club?
For the year 2014-2015, is to grow the brand awareness among current students and prospective candidates, and facilitate the recruiting process for students interested in the fashion, luxury, beauty and retail industries.
What initiatives do you have planned for 2015?
1. Build awareness of the club through different events such as fashion shows, a donation drive, hosting a themed Tuck Tails (weekly school social events), and getting involved with the local community to support retail businesses in the Hanover area. We want to re-energize and bring the Luxury and Retail Club to life!
2. Facilitate the recruiting process for retail careers by organizing Sector Smarts, [an event] which includes panels of Tuck alumni and industry experts during the first few weeks of class, as well as networking sessions and company briefings.
3. Organize a Career Trek (a Tuck careers event, overseas) by leveraging the strong Tuck alumni network and their presence in leading luxury and beauty companies.
Which companies is the club partnered with?
We hope to establish strategic partnerships with leading companies where Tuck already has a presence. Currently, we are looking to build relationships with Tuckies at Chanel, Estee Lauder, Warby Parker, Tory Burch and LVMH, to gain access to their expertise and guidance, as well as more summer and full-time MBA job opportunities.
Do you think that luxury goods can compete with traditional asset investment classes such as bonds or commodities?
We believe that buying luxury goods is more about having a superior and enhanced experience through products, customer service and other intangibles, which include the feelings of empowerment, confidence, and status that come with buying and owning such items.
Moreover, luxury goods carry a lot of sentimental value, which varies according to individual preferences. Thus, we (the club) agree that buying luxury goods do not directly compete with investing in traditional asset classes, given that both the incentive and reward of the former differ significantly from those of the latter.
What proportions of luxury goods sales do you think is recession proof?
We think that luxury goods that are ultra-premium, the revenue sources of which are diversified geographically and by product types, which are not highly dependent on developed countries but have an ever-growing presence in emerging economies, are more likely to be recession proof.
Which retail stock would you personally invest in?
Richemont, Tiffany & Co, Michael Kors and LVMH.