China is on its way to becoming the world's leading luxury goods market"
he Shanghai Shopping Festival, which took place in early May, was another consumer highlight for major international luxury brands, in a country on the way to becoming the world's leading luxury goods market.
While, pandemic requires, luxury sales collapsed in 2020 in Europe (- 36%), the Chinese market has grown like never before. The sums spent on purchases of fine wines, jewelry, watches, perfumes, designer clothes and shoes, etc., increased by 45% in the Middle Kingdom between 2019 and 2020. The major balances have changed rapidly. High-end fashion brands like Dior and Fendi now generate nearly 40% of their sales in China, and the start of 2021 looks just as promising. This insolent growth of luxury in China has several explanations.
China, less long hit by the health crisis, has regained its dynamism before Europe, allowing its rapidly expanding upper middle class to satisfy its passion for shopping. Half of China's population is now in the middle class, and Beijing is home to more billionaires than any other city in the world, according to Forbes magazine's list of international great fortunes.
Until 2020, selling to wealthy Chinese did not require selling in China itself. Three quarters of the purchases of luxury goods made by these new Chinese middle classes were made outside Chinese territory. It was the shutdown of international transport following the health crisis that abruptly ended the stream of visitors eager for European luxury.
New trends in luxury market
The boutiques and department stores - particularly French - have suffered greatly from this air gap. The daigou too. This term designates professional buyers who earned substantial sums by carrying out in Paris, but also in Milan or London, the personal shopping of wealthy clients. This profession, recent, was in strong growth before the pandemic: these buyers are able to choose the most "trendy" products, the most adapted to the desires of their customers, to alert them of novelties which could please them, to negotiate the prices. for them, and to ensure the delivery