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Men take 55% of China's luxury retail market

cntv.cn | Updated: 2013-09-18 14:05

For decades, women have been the bigger spenders in luxury retail globally... But in China, shopping is a man's world. According to research firm CLSA, men account for about 55 percent of China's luxury goods market, well above the global average of 40 percent... Grace Brown has more on China's masculine spending surge.

Contrary to popular stereotypes that women shop more than men, Chinese men are snapping up more luxury items than Chinese women. According to Bain, Chinese men spent 7 billion yuan, or $1.1 billion on luxury goods in 2010 -- compared to just 2.8 billion yuan spent by women. China’s male consumers are also out-spending them in multiple categories. Vinay Dixit, a Senior Expert at McKinsey's Asia Consumer Center, says Chinese men spent on average 61 percent more than Chinese women on fragrances and 52 percent more on watches. While President of Coach Retail International, Victor Luis, says men make up 45 percent of the $1.2 billion luxury bag market in China... Compared to just 7 percent in the United States.

Luckas Lee, PR Manager, said, "Every weekend, I spend at least one day shopping. I want to see what's new in store. Today, I'm wearing a Burberry raincoat, which is great in the rain or wind. I also love D&G an Lanvin. Every month, I spend on average about 5,000 yuan shopping. I think because these days, Chinese men love beautiful things more."

In recent years, Chinese men did much of their shopping as gifts... But Beijing's recent corruption clampdown has made this harder. And now, other factors are driving Chinese men to spend big...

According to CLSA, men account for about 55 percent of China's luxury goods market... And experts say the change in Chinese male attitudes to shopping can be seen across the board.

Jeffrey Zhao, Assoc. Director, Consumer Research, Nielsen, said, "In the past, they buying cars to have the commercial purpose. But nowadays, they are buying a lot of the luxury coupe, SUVs and smaller Sedans, trying to entertain themselves. You know, they are buying cars for driving pleasure, for fun and also as a statement, you know, who I am. For men, they're primarily looking for the premium brands for watches, shoes and costumes. And basically that is going to reward themselves and meanwhile have their own personal statement of their status and identity."

With 23 million more men than women in China - due to the one-child policy - the latest Rolex or Burberry can help men signal their wealth, when competing for a partner. McKinsey predicts China will overtake Japan as the world's biggest luxury market, largely due to male spending... But others, including research firm CLSA, warn Chinese men are still less likely to spend in uncertain times.

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