Main players adapt to slowing sales

Updated: 2013-04-12 09:30

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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Almost all the famous international luxury names have stores in China, leaving very little room for any new ones, she said.

According to US consulting firm Bain & Company, the growth of China's luxury market was just 7 percent in 2012 against 30 percent in 2011, which had made Chinese consumers the world's largest luxury consumer group.

In 2012, Chinese consumers bought a quarter of the world's luxury products, within a global luxury sector which grew 31 percent, said Bain.

But experts say Chinese consumers have become a lot more careful and reasoned in their purchase of luxury goods.

China's luxury market has become more mature, several years earlier than originally expected, said Lu Xiaoming, the president of Organic Plus, which used to manage several high-end brands in China.

Consumers now know a lot more about luxury, and choose their items carefully, making sure they fit their needs rather than simply buying because of the labels, he added.

He said that many international luxury brands have already started noticing consumer indifference.

Sales of luxury brands in China's market did increase in 2012, but growth was not as much as in previous years.

The luxury division of French multinational company Kering - previously known as Pinault Printemps Redoute, or PPR, until a recent name change - which includes Gucci, saw a 17.6 percent rise in sales in China in 2012, against 39.1 percent in 2011.

Richemont Group, another global luxury conglomerate which owns Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre, also reported a slowing market in 2012.