The Chinese consumer from the mainland has become the focal point for marketers of luxury brands and goods the world over. A recently conducted survey by reputed consultants Bain & Company reveals that more than half of all luxury-goods purchases by Chinese consumers last year — 56%, or $13 billion — were made outside of China. $6.5 billion was spent in Hong Kong and Macau—both special administrative regions of China—and $6.5 billion in global fashion capitals such as New York, Paris, Tokyo and Rome.
It’s no secret that China has been gobbling up a bigger share of the world’s jewelry, luxury handbags, high fashion and watches. British fashion giant Burberry Group PLC confirmed the trend by acknowledging that Chinese shoppers accounted for 30% of sales in their London store. The shopping habit of the Chinese tourists and increase in their purchasing power is driving sales in most of the luxury stores around the world.
It is ironical that the western tourists for years have headed east to China for bargain clothing, including knock-off versions of major brands; now Chinese tourists are heading for big European cities for exactly the opposite reason—to buy the real thing. The Chinese influence on the luxury market is here to stay.