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Chalhoub Group Professorship at AUS hosts international luxury brand management workshop
The American University of Sharjah’s (AUS) School of Business Administration (SBA) hosted the Fourth Brand Meaning Network Workshop on Luxury in the Circular Economy bringing together experts in the industry on March 8 and 9.
Organized by the Chalhoub Group Professorship in Luxury Brand Management at AUS in collaboration with Copenhagen Business School, the event focused on the areas of luxury, brand meaning co-creation, and industry dialogue. It highlighted the rise of new business models for luxury brands that involve pre-ownership, rentals, sharing, repairs and upcycling and their impact on the exclusivity of luxury brands. Leading scholars from around the world presented their cutting-edge research in the above areas and heard firsthand about the challenges and opportunities of luxury brands operating in this space.
“The circular economy is expected to generate an additional economic output of 4.5 trillion dollars by 2030, presenting an immense opportunity for brands. Different luxury brands have so far responded in different ways to this opportunity. Gucci, the flagship brand of Kering Group, has recently announced an ambitious plan to become a hub for circular luxury in Italy. Other luxury brands such as Burberry or Chloe have teamed up with third party platforms such as TheRealReal or Vestiaire Collective whilst other brands are still assessing the potential impact of the circular economy. Researchers should come up with empirically informed frameworks to help luxury brands identify the optimum strategies and business models for the circular economy,” said Dr. George Christodoulides, Professor in Marketing and Information Systems and Chalhoub Group Professor in Luxury Brand Management.
The event featured Elisa Sorgi, Chief Merchandising Officer at The Luxury Closet, who discussed the challenges and opportunities the circular economy presents for luxury buyers and identified challenges for sellers and buyers of pre-owned luxury items.
Florence Bulte, Chief Sustainability Officer at Chalhoub Group, also spoke at the event on the rising significance of sustainability in the region and identified some of the key initiatives of Chalhoub Group to embrace the circular economy, including Dubai's first luxury tableware rental service offered by Tanagra, and Level Shoes secondhand footwear services.
A panel comprising practitioners and academics convened to co-create a practice-relevant research agenda for luxury brands in the circular economy. Moderated by Dr. Christodoulides, the panel sought to understand the burning issues facing luxury brand managers, highlighted the changing meaning and paradoxes of the luxury concept in the circular economy and identified the most relevant business models for luxury brands to embrace the circular economy among many other issues.
The workshop will be followed up with a special issue of a journal that will publish a collection of papers presented at the workshop.
AUS is home to the Chalhoub Group Professorship in Luxury Brand Management, a center of excellence for research and teaching in luxury marketing that was established in 2013 with an endowment by the Chalhoub Group. Taking the lead in luxury marketing education for the region, AUS offers a range of courses in luxury brand management and marketing for undergraduate students wishing to pursue a vibrant business career in this important and growing sector.
For more information about the Chalhoub Group Professorship in Luxury Brand Management at the School of Business Administration at American University of Sharjah, visit www.aus.edu/sba.