Retail in Asia

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Indonesia lures more luxury brands

Indonesia’s growing ranks of wealthy consumers are enticing more luxury brands to Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Paris-based fashion house Hermes International SCA opened its third store in Jakarta, a luxury-watch boutique, this week with a local partner. LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA’s Fendi brand opened two stores this year, and Italian fashion label Gucci, part of France’s PPR SA, is building a 5,500-square-foot flagship store in Jakarta, also through local partners. Luxury-department-store operators Central Retail Corp. of Thailand and SA des Galeries Lafayette of France also are setting up shop in Indonesia.

Their moves into Jakarta come as some of the world’s largest markets for high-end goods sag: Sales for many high-end brands have weakened in the West, while a slowing Chinese economy has damped its consumers’ appetite for luxury.

The growth of Indonesia’s economy is expected to ease this year, but the country’s ballooning middle class will drive luxury-goods consumption in the long term, according to Frederick Gibson, an associate economist at Moody’s Analytics in Sydney.