The private equity group's study pinpoints strategy as the problem – warning luxury companies they need a more sophisticated approach.
"The luxury market has reached a maturation point. Brands can no longer rely on low-hanging fruit. Instead, they really need to implement differentiating strategies to succeed going forward," said Claudia D'Arpizio, a Bain partner in Milan and lead author of the Bain & Company Luxury study.
"We are already starting to see clear polarization when it comes to performance with winners and losers emerging across product categories and segments," said D'Arpizio.
Part of the problem may lie with a fixation on geography over style. Luxury companies have pinned their strategies on Asian customers having deep pockets, setting up China expansion plans targeted at store growth in first and second tier cities to patch up a black hole in spending in Hong Kong and Macau. More recently Chinese shoppers have avoided Japan because of currency strength, but the U.K. is being favored by tourists making the most of a sharp drop in sterling. The trend indicates Chinese and other global shoppers will chase a bargain but it will again give luxury groups an excuse to blame regional volatility.
Brand revival and category expansion remain the bright spots in luxury strategies. Exane BNP Paribas headlined Gucci as one of the hottest names in its brand temperature gauge based on editorial coverage in print versus advertising spend, back in August. Since then the creative vision of Alessandro Michele has steered the brand to greater strength, and investors are enthusiastically eyeing margin expansion of 1.5 percent in the second half.
On show later this week is timepiece and jewelry maker Richemont, which reports interim results, and Hermes with third-quarter sales. Hermes already warned recently of a hazy outlook with plans to scrap its sales forecasts from next year in light of economic and currency uncertainty.
Luxury success stories raise the bar for the industry and shine the spotlight on those that continue to trip up on the so-called macro.
Karen Tso is an anchor on Squawk Box Europe and you can follow her on Twitter @cnbckaren.