French labels are the most sought-after luxury products for Chinese shoppers as a booming economy creates a growing legion of newly affluent consumers.
French brands are the top choice for mainland buyers, followed by those from Italy and Hong Kong, consultants KPMG said in their report “Luxury experiences in China”, based on a survey of 1,200 consumers from 24 cities.
“China continues its march towards becoming the largest luxury market in the world,” said Nick Debnam, the firm’s head of consumer markets for Asia Pacific.
“Year-on-year as this market becomes more crowded, it is harder for luxury brands to enter this space. We also see rising brand recognition,” he added.
According to the Hurun Rich List, the Chinese equivalent of the Forbes or Sunday Times rich lists, there are now 875,000 Chinese people worth over a million US dollars, and almost 200 of these are billionaires.
The KPMG study found that they are most fond of French cosmetics and perfumes, clothing and bags, Italian footwear and Swiss watches, while they opt for domestic brands when it comes to alcohol.
The survey also found that about 70 percent of respondents search online for information on luxury brands at least once a month.
“Luxury companies need to think about how their strategies reach key online influencers,” Debnam said.
The 1,200 Chinese consumers polled in the survey were aged between 20 and 45, and earned at least 5,500 yuan ($850) a month.