Rich Chinese splurge on sportswear as luxury's lustre dims

Updated: 2016-02-19 09:44


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In Hong Kong, a typical GPS sports watch costs up to HK$2000 ($257) with top brands charging closer to HK$4000, while a pair of compression tights averages about HK$900.

"I spend mostly on sports shoes and sports watches," said Gu Xiaojiang, 36, a keen marathon runner who works in the finance industry in Shanghai.

"From an expenses point of view, not including transport fees ... I spend a few thousand yuan a year. But if I start biking, then I suspect I'll start spending a lot."

Those who want to look sporty without actually working up a sweat are increasingly buying "athleisure", a mix of athletic and casual clothing that has grown popular even in formal settings like offices in the United States.

As Chinese customers become more affluent they are becoming more demanding when purchasing, said Shakeel Nawaz, director at Escapade Sports which sells sportswear and nutrition products mainly to the Hong Kong market.

"The mainland customers we get are very, very focused. They know exactly what they want in our stores. It hasn't gotten to the watershed moment when it becomes a mainstream thing, but they are catching up," he said.

($1 = 6.5154 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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