Slow times in the luxury world will separate the bling from the chaﬀ.
separate the bling from the chaﬀ 沙里淘金
Milan, Paris or New York this time of year would usually be teeming with fashionistas scrambling to get from the Balenciaga（巴黎世家） show to the Chanel（香奈儿） party. Not in 2020. Fashion weeks have been cancelled, repurposed as posh catwalk webinars. Shops selling Hermès（爱玛士） ties and Prada（普拉达） pumps are only just reopening, wondering what to do with stock of pre-covid-19 vintage. Instagram influencers normally on hand to feed the hype have nothing to snap.
be teeming with...=be full of...充满，遍布，到处都是......
repurpose v.（为适合新用途）稍加改动，重新修改 re+purpose
webinar n.网络研讨会 来源于seminar
Instagram influencer Instagram网红
The world of personal luxury goods—from handbags and haute couture to diamond rings and pricey Swiss watches—has been in hibernation. At the height of the pandemic between March and May sales slumped by 75% or so on a year earlier, according to the Boston Consulting Group. They have slowly picked up as Asia, then Europe and America, started reopening. Even so, the outlook for the luxury world is far from glittering.
haute couture n.高档女子时装
The global recession hangs over a sector fuelled by consumer conﬁdence.（主旨句）Beyond that short-term shock, the industry is facing an overhaul in how its baubles are made, where they are sold and to whom.Trends once expected to play out over a decade may unfold in mere quarters. （难句）Rapid change has set nerves jangling in a business meant to exude timeless tradition.
hang over 笼罩着，威胁
难句分析Rapid change has set nerves jangling in a business meant to exude timeless tradition.
Start with who is buying and where. Although most purveyors of luxury are European (with America home to some of the lesser marques), most of their customers come from Asia. Asians bought more than half of the €281bn ($315bn) in bling sold last year. Chinese buyers alone have gone from 1% of purchases in 2000 to 35% last year, according to Bain, another consultancy. But most of that—perhaps 70%—was purchased overseas, often on jaunts to Europe. Just over a tenth of all luxury sales were actually booked in mainland China.
purveyor n.供应商 purvey v.提供，供应
Unless intercontinental tourism rebounds faster than expected, new ways will have to be found to get Euro-chic into Chinese hands. Firms hope that shopping sprees will simply move from Paris to Shanghai. In the short run, this might boost margins: the likes of Louis Vuitton (part of LVMH, the biggest luxury group) and Gucci (part of Kering, another French giant) charge a third more in China than in Europe for the same products. Closing a few ﬂagship stores in high-rent tourism hotspots such as Paris or Milan, which usually sell half their stock to tourists, could save ﬁrms money in property costs.
那么，针对上一段提出的销路问题，就必须找到售卖的新的方式把商品交到中国客户手中。有人提出关闭一些在欧洲的旗舰店，而在上海开一些新店。这样就会产生利润，弥补了在欧洲开店成本高销量少的问题。但注意作者用的是In the short run，也就是在短期内。一班下面必有转折。
Yet any boost to margins may be short-lived. The difference between European and Chinese prices has narrowed. Those in China have been declining as apps make international price comparisons easier . And more shops on the mainland, in cities they would once have deemed déclassé, may diminish the aura of exclusivity that shopping on Avenue Montaigne（蒙田大道） in Paris or New York’s Fifth Avenue confers. The de facto discounts were aimed at luring buyers to the West precisely for that reason.
de facto （法）实际上
The pandemic has accelerated other trends. Online sales of luxury goods, at 7-8% of the total on average, are around half those of mass-market fashion retailers like H&M and Zara.（长难句） The closure of shops has, predictably, eased some of the reservations brands may have about selling their wares on the internet. LVMH has said online purchases are “significantly higher” as a share of sales than pre-pandemic. Sales through department stores—which are in terrible financial shape, notably in America—are also likely to shrink.
The closure of shops has, predictably, eased some of the reservations brands may have about selling their wares on the internet.
主语the closure of shops，谓语ease，宾语reservations，可以看出这是省略that/which的定语从句，修饰先行词reservations。全句意思是商店的关闭，使商家在网上出售商品的预订更加方便。
Meanwhile, costs may rise. Though they love to show oﬀ in-house “artisans” stitching handbags and the like, even the poshest maisons quietly outsource some of their production. Many rely on outsiders for more than half their products. These suppliers are often small family firms in Italy, which went into the pandemic with slim margins and slimmer financial buffers. Luxury groups are now having to assist them financially in a hurry lest they disappear for good.
All this paints a drab ﬁnancial picture.Sales are forecast to fall by a third in 2020, and recover only by 2022 at the earliest. That will crimp margins, since luxury ﬁrms’ costs are largely ﬁxed. Rents must still be paid and brands advertised—the poshest ones spend the best part of $1bn a year on marketing—even as sales droop.
at the earliest 最早
In many industries, squished margins and falling sales might lead to a slew of takeovers. Few expect that to happen in luxury. Most of the big players have healthy balance-sheets and are expected to ﬁnd ways to return to proﬁtability. Many smaller marques are controlled by founders or their families, who are loth to sell in a downturn. If anything, consolidation might slow; all eyes are on whether LVMH will complete its $17bn takeover of Tiﬀany（蒂芙尼）, an American jeweller, agreed weeks before covid-19 struck.
squish v.挤压，压坏 同根词squeeze
a slew of 大量
be loth to do...不情愿做某事
Not all parts of the industry are equally vulnerable. In a crisis, buyers stick to more established brands. “They want the best of the best,” says Luca Solca of Bernstein, a broker. Good news, then, for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Chanel, which have in fact pushed up prices in recent months. （长难句）In contrast, brands hoping for a turnaround in their fortunes—Burberry is a perennial candidate—are less able to gain the attention a relaunch might otherwise garner.
perennial a. 长久的；持续的；反复出现的
perennial candidate 常年的候选人，对一再失败的候选人的谑称
In contrast, brands hoping for a turnaround in their fortunes are less able to gain the attention a relaunch might otherwise garner.
Some segments have also been hit harder than others. Perfumes and cosmetics have held up best: a lockdown is no reason to forgo a skincare regime, apparently. Fashion houses face bigger problems, as cooped-up fashionistas see less need to replenish their wardrobes. Worse, unlike jewellery or handbags, surplus stock of apparel is rapidly going out of style. Overt discounts are frowned upon in luxury for fear of cheapening precious brands. Most at risk are fancy watchmakers like Richemont（历峰集团）, which attract sellers at fairs and trade shows that have now been cancelled.
Fashion houses 时装店
replenish v.重新补充 词根plen- plenty
The question is whether amid this shake-up the luxury world can keep its grip on the wallets of the world’s big spenders. Fears that consumers would opt for a more ascetic post-pandemic future are dissipating: reports of “revenge shopping” as China emerged from lockdown implies that rich folks’ appetite for status symbols remains intact. But these worries are being replaced by those over Chinese shoppers developing a taste for nascent local brands, at the expense of the old-world stalwarts.
The biggest potential changes may concern the designers themselves. By late June the most exalted would normally start displaying autumn and winter collections in shop windows. This year they will make up for lost time by selling their summer season through the summer, as might seem sensible anyway. Giorgio Armani, an Italian veteran, has argued this should become the new norm. What a bold fashion statement that would be.