Capital Of Liaoning Province Surpassed Hangzhou To Become China’s Third-Largest Luxury Market In 2010
As the largest city in northeast China, with a population of nearly 8 million, and a key transportation and trade hub owing to its proximity to Russia and North Korea, Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, has seen its fortunes increase fairly rapidly over the last couple of decades. With the ensuing increase in the number of wealthy residents, major luxury brands have begun to stream in, and the city now boasts two Louis Vuitton boutiques, a Gucci store, and brands like Tiffany & Co., Bally and Zegna concentrated at the high-end Charter Shopping Center (卓展购物中心). But interestingly enough, one factor that sets Shenyang apart from other fast-growing second-tier cities is its increasingly sophisticated second-hand luxury market. With Shenyang surpassing Hangzhou last year to become the third largest single luxury market in China with sales totaling 1.5 billion yuan (US$229 million), putting it behind only Beijing and Shanghai, a flood of high-end goods have washed over the city. Now, with demand surging, some enterprising luxury consumers have realized they can quickly turn a profit on their new luxury goods by “flipping” them at second-hand shops.
From Sina (translation by Jing Daily team):
No one knows exactly how many people are buying second-hand luxury goods in Shenyang, but anyone who joins this group of buyers quickly becomes a loyal fan. Recently, [shopping mall] Shenyang Secoo held a four-day second-hand luxury exhibition, only sending the exact date and time of the event to club members right before it began. The event ultimately pulled in 240,000 yuan (US$37,000). Explained manager Mr. Liu, Shenyang’s second-hand luxury market has a great deal of potential. One month earlier, a similar event made more than 100,000 yuan, but this comparatively large event was not only a financial success but also proved extremely popular among Shenyang shoppers.
Last December, after noting the potential for the future development of Shenyang’s second-hand luxury market, manager Liu decided to start a consignment business. Liu decided to keep the store location quiet and decorate it in a low-key fashion, explaining, “[my] business is second-hand luxury goods, not grandstanding. We want customers to be attracted by the goods themselves.” Added Liu, “In the store, every item has ample space, which allows customers to clearly see the price of each product.” The 200 square meter store has already attracted many shoppers, and interested parties can first check out the inventory online before coming in to inspect the items in person. Simple and convenient.
According to manager Liu, the most popular brands in Shenyang are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Coach, Hermes and Dior, with the most frequent transactions involving handbags, watches, sunglasses, jewelry, and scarves. Far and away, the most popular items are women’s handbags. The consumer base is predominantly female, with Liu saying that female shoppers comprise more than 70 percent of shoppers at his store. Most of Liu’s customers are independent business owners, housewives, or white collar workers between the ages of 30-40. As most of these individuals socialize with a similarly high-income, luxury-obsessed crowd, Liu sees no shortage of potential demand for second-hand goods.
The Sina article goes on to note that the rapid development of Shenyang’s second-hand luxury market may boil down to the fact that some of the top luxury brands and most popular handbags are extremely hard to come by in Shenyang, with people there often having to sign up on long wait-lists for Hermes bags in other cities. Currently, there are more than 20 high-end consignment shops in Shenyang, most of which are centered in the city’s Huanggu (皇姑), Xitie (铁西) and Hunnan (浑南) neighborhoods, or near the Charter Shopping Center. Business, apparently, is quite good at all of these stores.
While Beijing and Dalian are seeing the number of luxury consignment shops increase rapidly, Shenyang is becoming a more popular shopping destination for consumers in Dalian or Harbin — who previously had to travel to Beijing or Hong Kong to get their second-hand luxury fix. According to manager Liu’s rough estimate, last year Shenyang’s 20 second-hand luxury shops saw turnover of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million), making it, in Liu’s estimation, the undisputed second-hand luxury hub of northeastern China.