Chinese hunger for luxury goods unsated

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 July, 2010, 12:00am

A survey on luxury spending has found that the Greater China market seems to have survived largely unscathed by the global economic turmoil.

China Luxury Forecast was launched by Ruder Finn Asia, a public relations firm, and Asian market research group Albatross Global Solutions after polling 1,100 luxury consumers in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and 17 second-tier cities on the mainland, plus Hong Kong and Taiwan in March and April.

In Taiwan, 36 per cent of respondents expected to spend more on luxury watches in the coming year, compared with about 20 per cent in other Greater China markets.

China's luxury market is expected to continue to grow in the next 12 months, with 78 per cent of shoppers planning to spend the same or more in that time.

Greater China consumers continue to see Hong Kong as their luxury shopping paradise, with 51 per cent of them saying they usually come to Hong Kong to buy luxury cosmetics, and 53 per cent coming here for jewellery and watches.

Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci topped the list of preferred brands that consumers intend to purchase, largely in line with global trends.

Some observers say luxury items are bought by people wanting to show off their success, but 68 per cent of respondents in first-tier mainland cities said they just enjoyed the experience. Some 55 per cent said they bought luxury items to show their 'good taste'.

Buying luxury items for business partners is also strong on the mainland, where 28 per cent of respondents in first-tier cities and 36 per cent in second-tier cities said they bought on behalf of business partners.

For Hong Kong and Taiwan, the figures were just 11 per cent and eight per cent respectively.

The survey was carried out among shoppers with an average income of about 250,000 yuan (HK$286,500), and with a minimum annual income of 100,000 yuan.

Of those surveyed, 80 per cent were on the mainland and the rest were in Hong Kong and Taiwan.