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Luxury shoppers get more sophisticated

Updated: 2013-11-05 00:24
By Wang Wen ( China Daily)

The growth of luxury sales in China is estimated to be a mere 2.5 percent year-on-year in 2013, consulting firm Bain & Co said in a report released in October, while the growth in the United States will surpass that seen in China this year.

The increasing number of Chinese shoppers visiting Western cities in the US is one of the main factors driving the growth there, the Bain report said.

That effect is being felt in Europe as well.

"We did see a higher proportion of transactions from tourists in Europe, and that was particularly the Chinese tourist," Fay Dodds, vice-president of Burberry Group Plc, said recently at the company's trading update conference for the six months to the end of September.

In part reflecting more trips by Chinese luxury shoppers, sales in the rest of Asia also accelerated during the period, while European flagship markets saw a higher proportion of tourist transactions, the United Kingdom-based luxury brand said, although the Chinese mainland still delivered high single-digit comparable growth in the quarter from July to September.

Meanwhile, as they search for unique luxury items and brands, Chinese consumers are also showing a greater interest in online luxury retailers, with 36 percent of the respondents from the mainland saying that they prefer to shop for luxury goods online, up 22 percentage points year-on-year, said the 2014 China Luxury Forecast.

Chinese residents' consumption intentions for most luxury items, including watches, bags, jewelry and wine, will remain the same next year as in 2013, but they're willing to spend more on fashion items, the report added.

"Consumers from the mainland plan to spend 14,000 yuan ($2,290) on clothes on average every time they shop," said Simon Tye, executive director at Ipsos.

Plans to spend more on luxury clothes also reflect the consumers' growing sophistication, as accessories are entry-level items for luxury consumers, while fashion products are at a higher level, he added.

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