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China’s luxury consumers may be savvy when it comes to seeking out the best prices globally, but a new report finds their desire to spend remains strong despite the country’s stock market fluctuations.
A study released this week by Bain and Altgamma found that Chinese consumers are still the top buyers of luxury goods internationally, taking up almost a third of all spending on apparel, jewelry, handbags, and shoes. As luxury prices remain high on the mainland, most of this shopping continues to take place abroad, and the report says that only 20 percent of Chinese luxury spending takes place domestically. Despite this small percentage, China is still projected to come in third for overall luxury sales this year after the United States and Japan, pulling in a projected 17 billion euros on high-end goods.
China’s stock market slump and currency devaluation haven’t dampened demand to shop for luxury, says the report, although Chinese luxury consumers are highly driven by price. Claudia D’Arpizio, a senior partner at Bain & Company and the study’s author, told Associated Press that Chinese consumers are closely monitoring the internet for the countries with the best prices, “and they change their travel plans to get to the best shopping destinations.”
As a result of these trends, luxury brands have been lowering their China prices and raising their Europe ones to try to reduce price differences. But the key for brands, according to the report, is to be ready for Chinese customers in every shopping destination as their preferences rapidly change. Europe and Japan are popular at the moment thanks to currency fluctuations, but D’Arpizio notes that Chinese travelers tend to follow pricing trends and “have zero country loyalty” when it comes to favorite destinations.