Standing Out from the Chinese Crowd

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Beijing’s luxury shopping market is now competing with Shanghai and Hong Kong as the world’s luxury brands flocked to newly opened stores, in time for the Olympics.

China has come a long way. A luxury consumer market that did not exist 20 years ago is now seemingly on an unstoppable path to dominate top-end retail. China is already the world’s third largest luxury goods market, behind only Japan and the U.S. It is predicted to become the world’s largest by 2015. Beijing’s high-end retail space has expanded by 89 percent in the last two years, according to the real estate service agent Jones Lang LaSalle. There has already been five new mid- to high-end retail projects opened in Beijing in the first half of this year, with a further 24 expected by the end of the year.

Before the Olympics Games, Beijing’s luxury retail market tended to be low-key, especially in contrast with its rival Shanghai. Luxury shoppers would even go as far as swapping the buttons on their designer suits for plain ones to avoid questions about the source of their money. Now we see Beijing leading the way with 3 million square feet of luxury commercial space being developed since 2007.

However, with such a wide variety of high-end shops in Beijing, retail observers have commented that brands are facing a growing challenge to stand out and create a niche for themselves. With the post-Olympic cool down some luxury brands may find it harder to succeed as China’s 300,000 millionaires  increasingly embrace the lifestyles and buying habits common to the world’s wealthier nations, attracting every luxury brand into Beijing and thus flooding the luxury goods market.

Jacqueline says of this article...

Great post, I am interested in following China’s growth in terms of retail spending. Thank you for posting this.

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