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Despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy and government intervention on gifting, aka bribery, the demand for luxury goods among Chinese shoppers remains remarkably stable, though foreign-facing. “More than 80 percent of luxury goods bought are from Chinese buying abroad,” says Thierry Nataf, CEO of The Luxury Consulting Co. “Of course, the price is 30 to 40 percent less expensive abroad” because of the domestic Goods and Services/Value Added Tax.
With overseas travel in 2015 up 32 percent from 2014, according to Bain & Co.’s China Luxury Report, reliance on daigou, or personal shoppers contracted by Chinese consumers to purchase and send back luxury goods, has decreased. Tastes have changed, too: Flashy logos and signs of conspicuous consumption have waned, says Kim Bui Kollar of Asian luxury department store Lane Crawford. “There is more taste confidence attributed to social media, global travel and the novelty of luxury goods wearing off.”
Consider the classic, pared-down best-sellers in Beijing, which draw a contrast to attention-grabbing accessories that attract Beverly Hills customers.
This story first appeared in the Nov. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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