There’s currently no country in the world that can match China’s thirst for luxury goods. Last year, mainland Chinese consumers were responsible for 35 per cent of all sales in the market, according to Ruder Finn and Consumer Search Group’s ‘China Luxury Forecast 2020’. Luxury consumption in the country grew by 26 per cent (compared to a 6.1 per cent national GDP growth rate). Clothing and watches top the wish list, led by international brand names such as Chanel and Rolex.
It must be noted that such insights were published before the COVID-19 pandemic, although by late last year (when the data was gathered), the health crisis was already on the horizon. Ruder Finn found an increase in consumers expecting to decrease their luxury spending in 2020 compared to 2019 (10 versus six per cent). But the first country to shut down has also been the first to reopen. Its swift response to the pandemic has seen it avoid the losses experienced in many other parts of the world. Author and Chinese luxury market expert Erwan Rambourg, writing for The Business of Fashion, believes that this means “consumer confidence will rebound quickly”. Other markets, especially those in Western Europe and the US, may not be so fortunate.
Rather than stifle current trends shaping the future of luxury in China, industry analysts are already noting that COVID-19 has acted as an accelerator, particularly when it comes to the following four key movements.
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