As we wave goodbye to 2020, it may be hard to think: were there any positives that came out of this year? We got used to living a more sedate lifestyle, barely using our cars and not being able to visit friends’ homes and we had experiences such as international travel taken away from us, but there were some green shoots amongst the chaos.
From on-demand fitness streamed into your own home and the opportunity of remote working on a yacht in the Bahamas, to sales of luxury food and watches skyrocketing and the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine meaning a return to whatever will become the ‘new normal’ lifestyle, we explore what happened in December.
- Britons see out 2020 in style. When you can’t go out or have experiences, splurge on luxury food and drink instead.
- Looking for a lifestyle change? Bermuda Tourism Authority is offering tax-free extended stay options for working professionals.
- A return to a normal lifestyle? The UK becomes the first western country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- The gym of the future is in your living room; smart mirrors, virtual instructors, and immersive machines are leading the way in new fitness lifestyle trends.
- While the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the world, China experienced a significant increase in luxury goods consumption in 2020.
Luxury food sales rocket
When you can’t spend New Year on a yacht in the Caribbean, or go shopping for new watches or cars, why not splash out on luxury food to see a miserable year out in style?
You may not be able to travel as much or have to hold back on large purchases, such as real estate, yachts and cars, but a little taste of luxury doesn’t need to break the bank. Figures show that in the last three months, nearly a quarter more shoppers are buying premium champagne than at the same time last year. Sales of other luxury foods such as smoked salmon, patés, fine cheeses, and chocolates soared in the run-up to Christmas as Britons indulged in luxury food during the lockdown. Waitrose said sales of deluxe salmon, including its gin-infused, gold-flecked smoked salmon, were up 18% on last year.
Looking for a lifestyle change?
2020 has felt like one long winter so who wouldn’t want to get away and experience working from the tropics – and tax-free?
The Bermuda Tourism Authority is making this lifestyle a reality with extended stay options for working professionals. Check your watches, in just under seven hours you can catch a flight from London to Bermuda and find paradise. With warm winters and cultural exploration to experience, and only a four-hour time difference, an extended working holiday could well be the future. Now all you need to find is a real estate agent to help you secure that luxury home and yacht.
The new incentive ensures routine COVID-19 testing and allows travellers to experience a more relaxed lifestyle whilst working remotely. Work from Bermuda travellers will be considered residents for their year in Bermuda but will not be subject to income tax.
UK approves COVID-19 vaccine
The UK became the first Western country to formally approve the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, a symbolic milestone in the fight against the pandemic and allowing people to get back to reclaiming a more normal lifestyle and experiencing life again.
An initial batch of 800,000 was rolled out in mid-December 2020, covering a relatively small number of health care workers, care homes, and people aged over 80. UK regulators granted emergency authorisation far quicker than any other vaccine in history, usually taking around 15–20 years to design, develop and seek approval for this kind of medication.
Gym in your living room?
Post-COVID, the new word in fitness lifestyle allows you to experience the motivation, power, and intensity of studio-style, group classes, in the comfort of your own home or yacht.
Brands such as Peloton, Mirror, Tonal and Hydrow, not only offer stunning, luxury equipment you’d be happy to have in your own homes, but they also broadcast live-streamed and on-demand content to fit your lifestyle.
Better still, if you don’t have the equipment, you can still subscribe to the app and stream any of the thousands of immersive classes for less than the cost of a single cycle class in Central London
Chinese luxury boost
When the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to international travel, Chinese consumers, in particular, the Generation Z demographic stuck in their homes, instead turned to the domestic market for feeding their luxury lifestyles and purchasing luxury goods.
The digital-native lifestyles of Generation Z consumers, eager to purchase luxury items such as watches, cars, and designer accessories, has meant that luxury brands have had to develop multi-channel strategies – such as new online sales platforms and pop-up stores – to facilitate this new purchasing power.
This significant increase in luxury goods consumption in 2020 across China has also been helped by 2015 restrictive legislation, aimed at reducing imports, controlling the domestic market, and regulating brand prices. The country is expecting to continue this lifestyle momentum until 2022 or 2023.