Chinese brands face luxury shortfall

12 June 2012

BEIJING: Luxury products made by Chinese firms are facing widespread consumer indifference, despite rapidly-growing demand for high-end goods and services.

Xiong Xunlin, deputy secretary-general at the China Chamber of International Commerce, has predicted that luxury product sales will rise to $27bn for China by 2015, China Daily reports. This would mean that the world's most-populous nation will account for one-fifth of the sector's total annual sales.

But Xiong also said that the main driver of this growth would be foreign-owned brands, despite China's traditional status as the "king of luxury products".

"China has basically no top-class luxury brands, which is a regrettable situation," he told the news source. "Where the country lags far behind is the creation of brands."

Also speaking to China Daily, Jessica Tu, chair of China's Luxury Market Council, suggested that high-end domestic brands "need to attach more importance to the exploration of overseas markets".

Figures released by the Boston Consulting Group earlier in June 2012 indicate that luxury sales in China are growing at a rate of +22% annually.

By contrast, the sector's global growth rate was forecast to reach an average of just +7% per year from 2012–14. 

Despite the consumer preference for foreign goods, many domestic players are launching high-end brands for the Chinese market.

These include cosmetics maker Shanghai Jahwa, which has also struck a deal with Sephora to sell high-end goods overseas, and menswear firm Eve Group.

Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff