Luxury brands should expand reach in China

17 April 2009

SHANGHAI: Luxury brands in China need to look outside of Beijing and Shanghai if they are to reach some of the country's 825,000 consumers worth over 10 million yuan ($1.5m; €1.1m; £1m), according to a study by high-end publisher Hurun.

It has been argued that many Chinese consumers are cutting their spending levels in the downturn, and Bain & Co. has also predicted that global luxury sales will fall 10% this year.

Hurun estimates that 51,000 Chinese are worth over 100 million yuan, with 280,000 of the country's wealthiest people living in Beijing and Shanghai.

However, as 52% of high-value consumers live outside of these two areas, Hurun's Rupert Hoogewerf argues there is a growing trend of "luxury brands moving into the secondary cities."

The average millionaire in China is 39 years old, and over 80% of this group argue that the downturn has not exerted an impact on their lifestyle.

Indeed, Hoogewerf suggests there has been a "surge in self-confidence driving China's wealthy to continue to spend, despite the economic crisis.”

Louis Vuitton was named as the favourite luxury brand by China's richest people, with Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and BMW among their favourite auto marques.

Giorgio Armani was regarded as the best fashion label, with Nokia taking this title among the mobile phone brands competing in the country.

Data sourced from AFP; additional content by WARC staff