OPINION: Difference between luxury spenders in Joburg and Cape Town

By Luke Calitz Time of article published Apr 11, 2019

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When it comes to spending on all things that are bling, Joburgers and Capetonians are very different consumers. While there are numerous differences between the two hubs from lifestyle perspectives, there are also luxury spending trends that locals seem to follow. Here are a few that we’ve noticed in our stores in Melrose Arch and the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village.

The desire for brands is driven by the availability

Our (Luxity’s) African and Luxury Market Report found that no new luxury brands entered into the African market during 2017 - 2018. If brands aren’t readily available to the local market, they are always snapped up quickly in our stores.

While Hermes is equally popular in both cities when available, the brand becomes much more desired in the locale where it is available, even though our demographic would easily travel across the country to buy something they want, the fact that the item is on the shelf pushes sales.

Climate and venues

The difference between the cities is rooted in their different climates and social venues. Our shoppers in Egoli and the Mother City have unique wardrobe requirements.

In Cape Town, there’s more of a desire for large tote bags, like the Gucci GG Eclipse Large Tote, for lazy days at the pool overlooking the Grand, while in Johannesburg there’s a more considerable demand for travel suitcases, such as the Louis Vuitton Monogram Pegase 55 Roller, as our clientele jet sets across the globe.


If you were wondering whether influencers make a difference, they do. Especially when they’re talking to a hyper-local demographic. As there is a vast variety, they do help nudge clientele in the direction of certain items.

With Joburg being the urban hub of South African fashion, brands like Gucci are always in demand, while the environmental influence of Capetonian drives demand for more natural colours like the Louis Vuitton range.

Africa’s Major Point of Call

As the joke goes, the Republic of Cape Town isn’t the true melting pot of cultures when compared to Joburg. Customers up north are made up of individuals from all over the continent, as only South Africa and Morocco have luxury store outlets.

These shoppers are heavily influenced by international trends -  as they are a part of the larger community of traveller-shoppers. They’re not buying for the season at home, but for the conditions at their next destination - so a pair of Prada sunnies aren’t for the beach but snow glare on a remote mountain top.

Even though we often get caught up in the negative headlines, the African continent is home to the world’s fastest-growing economies. More clients are walking through on a daily basis.

In the next few years this could change with renovations to Cape Town’s International Airport causing a massive boost, but presently Joburg is the hub of Africa.

Environmental Factors

As mentioned before, Capetonians are more likely to buy into trends that help out the environment; after all, they live in the shadow of a nature reserve. Recently, more and more shoppers are becoming aware that purchasing a pre-owned luxury item means there’s no need to produce a new article with dwindling resources.

These informed consumers are mostly based in Cape Town, South Africa’s Green Capital, where fashion decisions also need to factor in environmental impacts.

Now you know the differences between luxury spenders in Cape Town and Joburg.

Luke Calitz, Owner of Luxity.  



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