Another market characteristic of luxury goods is their very high sensitivity to economic upturns and downturns, high profit margins as well as prices, and very tightly controlled brands. Other guidelines may apply to certain luxury markets such as the luxury vehicle market.
For example, following a nearly crippling attempt to widely licence their brand in the 1970s and 1980s, the Gucci brand is now largely sold in directly-owned stores. The Burberry brand is generally considered to have diluted its brand image in the UK in the early 2000s by over-licensing its brand, thus reducing its cachet as a brand whose products were consumed only by the elite.
LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) is the largest luxury good producer in the world with over fifty brands, including Louis Vuitton, the brand with the world's first designer label. The LVMH group made a profit of €2bn on sales of €12bn in 2003. Other market leaders include PPR (after it purchased the Gucci Group) and Richemont