In spite of the economical turmoil, we’re let to believe that the luxury segment of China is about to flourish. On 2nd April 2009, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company published a study reporting that the number of Chinese people purchasing luxury goods will triple within the next six years. In 2015, Asia will count 4, 4 million ‘rich’ families against 1,6 million ‘urban’ families with an annual income of more than 250 000 yen (25.034 GBP). By then, China will be the 4th largest richest population counting country right behind USA, Japan and UK.

On the research McKinsey commented: “In such an explosive market, the habits of consumption can change very fast and luxury companies can do a lot to educate the tastes, habits of expenses and the loyalty of the consumer.”

The development of China’s luxury market is something recent, 55% of the surveyed started to buy luxurious goods only 4 years ago. These consumers are rather young; 80% is under 45 years against 30% in the US and 19% in Japan. A few years ago, Chinese consumers made these purchases abroad, and today 60% are made in China.

Privileged families still concentrate in the more developed and industrialised regions of South-East Asia. McKensey points out that companies use wealthy families as their target group and focus on cities such as Shanghai and Bejing “where the competition is already strong. They take the risk to undervalue the importance of smaller cities, even if they are richer in Chengdu (South-East) than in Detroit, and as many in Wenzhou (East) as in Atlanta,” says McKinsey.


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