What does 2014 hold for China's luxury consumers?

Shoppers pose for a picture in front of a Chanel luxury boutique at the IFC Mall in Shanghai, in this June 4, 2012 file picture. — Reuters pic
Shoppers pose for a picture in front of a Chanel luxury boutique at the IFC Mall in Shanghai, in this June 4, 2012 file picture. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Dec 27 — 2013 has been something of an uncertain year for Chinese luxury-lovers as the country adjusted to the national anti-corruption campaign, but what can consumers expect from 2014? According to consumer analyst Jing Daily, the year ahead will see a rise in niche brands breaking onto the scene, while the big names may need to think outside of the box to stay ahead of the game.

Creative marketing

As China's anti-corruption campaign continues through the New Year shopping season, Jing Daily predicts that brands will be seeking out more creative ways to hook consumers. This might include offering mid-price ranges or concentrating on targeting wealthy Chinese expats abroad.

A more individualistic approach to design

Jing reports that the success of small brands in large conglomerates is representative of a rising individualistic consumer style in China. Cosmetics brand Fresh, which is part of the LVMH group, for example, has seen rapid expansion this year across Asia, while Kering brand Volcom reported a 2 per cent increase in revenue in the group's latest financial report. As South China Morning Post recently reported, contemporary upper mid-range brands such as The Kooples and Zadig & Voltaire have taken off in Asia this year, and China's shifting perception of fashion may well give rise to edgier boutiques and niche brands.

International shopping sprees

According to Jing, the number of Chinese consumers purchasing luxury goods abroad is set to increase. Chinese tourists have been credited with helping to keep the flagging European and US luxury goods markets afloat. Chinese shoppers allegedly currently make more than 60 per cent of luxury purchases outside of China, Jing says.

Online and offline interaction

We will be seeing more in-store technology in Chinese retail outlets, including touch screens, recommendation services via email or QR codes that connect to social media accounts, Jing predicts. Similarly, e-commerce sites will further develop their offline presence through additional extras such as private courier services, like online tailor ShangPin, which offers a special delivery service in which the customer is allowed to try the items on before the courier leaves. — AFP-Relaxnews

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