In the “Chinese Whispers” column, we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.
In this week’s edition, we discuss:
- The rising interest in beauty products among China’s male “Z-lennials“,
- The latest power shakeup at Vogue China, and
- The sales rebound of Chow Tai Fook in Hong Kong and Macau.
1. China’s Male “Z-lennials” Becoming a Key Force in Beauty Market — Jiemian
According to a recent report published by the luxury e-commerce website VIP.com in collaboration with iResearch Consulting Group, China’s male “Z-lennials”, or post-95s, are showing greater interest in skincare and cosmetics every year. From 2015 to 2017, beauty consumption by this segment rose 60 percent on VIP.com. Facial masks and skincare sets were the two types of products they liked most. This trend has already motivated industry leaders such as L’Oréal to develop male beauty lines for China.
Compared to their Western counterparts, Chinese male consumers are likely to establish skincare habits early. Consequently, young Chinese men represent a huge opportunity for beauty brands. The mainland male skincare and cosmetics products market is expected to reach 1.9 billion yuan in 2019, according to research by the consulting firm Euromonitor International, growing twice as fast as the global cosmetics market.
2. Vogue China Appoints New Publisher — LadyMax
The leadership shake-up continues in the Chinese fashion magazine industry. On April 18, Condé Nast China announced the resignation of Anita Chang, the publisher of Vogue China, who started her role in 2004. Li Baojian will take over the position, effective immediately.
China’s fashion publishing sector is struggling to retain its relevance and authority in the digital era. Frequent leadership changes in recent months shows the determination of major players to find the best talents to lead digital transformations.
3. Chow Tai Fook’s Sales Growth in Hong Kong and Macau Eclipsed Mainland China — No Fashion
The Hong Kong-based high-end jewelry brand Chow Tai Fook reported on April 16 that sales from its combined Hong Kong and Macau stores grew 17 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 fiscal year that ends in March, with growth in mainland China limited to seven percent. The brand attributed the strong performance in its Hong Kong and Macau stores to the influx of Chinese travelers, with retail sales settled in Chinese RMB jumping from 44 percent to 51 percent over the same period.
The performance of Chow Tai Fook is in line with the overall recovery of the retail sector in Hong Kong and Macau. According to data released by the Hong Kong government, retail sales in February jumped 29.8 percent to reach 45.2 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$5.76 billion), growing at their strongest in eight years. The recovery of the sector began in mid-2017, with a great number of luxury watch brands also reporting positive growth.