Wealthy Chinese travel West in search of luxury goods

Isaac Mostovicz writes that China's luxe industry continues to evolve rapidly, making it a key player in the Asian luxe industry's future development...


Here’s an interesting story about China’s pursuit of luxury goods. Agence France-Presse (AFP) is reporting that increasingly high numbers of wealthy Chinese people are traveling to luxury capitals such as Paris to purchase goods that are discounted.

I wrote previously that the global economic downturn has caused luxe companies and retailers to put products on discount in order the move product. It appears that the Chinese, who have become more involved in the Asian luxury market, are going where the deals are.

The AFP article offers more detail:

The Chinese bought tax-free goods worth 158 million euros (222.5 million dollars) in France in 2009. That was an increase of 47 percent from the level the previous year, according to Global Refund, a company specialising in tax-free shopping for tourists.

The article also notes that this has been part of a larger, growing trend:

Tax-free shopping by Chinese tourists has been increasing for the last two years, rising by 39 percent in 2007 and 23.3 percent in 2008. They now represent 15 percent of sales and 13 percent of transactions.

More Chinese people are going abroad to buy high-ticket items, which suggests a growth in the number of people who might be considered Theta personalities in China.

Year on year increases in the number of Chinese traveling abroad to do this kind of shopping suggest the figures will continue to grow. What will be interesting to watch is the impact this has on China’s burgeoning luxe market.

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