FEATURE11 October 2018

The new luxe

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Asia Pacific Features Impact

China dominates the market for global luxury, but the motivations of its luxury consumers are shifting with a younger-buying demographic. By Katie McQuater

China-louis vuitton

Earlier this year, the Chinese government reduced its import duties on consumer goods, resulting in a number of European luxury brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermès lowering their historically high prices for shoppers in the country.

The decision reinforced the influence of China on the world’s luxury market; it’s estimated that Chinese consumers account for RMB 500bn (around $7.4bn) in annual spend, representing almost a third of global spend on luxury.

Yet the expectations of the Chinese consumer, and the qualities they associate with luxury, are different to that of the luxury buyer in Paris, London or New York. A study from Kadence International found that consumers in China are more likely to associate the qualities of ‘timelessness’ – relating to a brand’s enduring appeal and relevance – and ‘experiential’ – including digital and mobile experiences – with luxury than any other market studied. 

And unlike other markets in Asia-Pacific, Chinese shoppers ...