China Retail to Slow Down as Individuals Look to Preserve Wealth

Image: CNBC

While China’s luxury market shows signs of growth and brands around the world alter their marketing to cater to the Asian demographics, some reports are indicating that wealthy Chinese shoppers will actually begin to put the brakes on their spending in order to preserve their wealth.

The luxury market has been doing very well in China lately, with major companies tailoring their goods towards the Asian market. However, a new report by International Business Times suggests that data from the Ministry of Commerce showed sales related to the start of the year of the dragon in China increased only 16% to $76 billion – down 3% from last year. This makes it the country’s slowest holiday-related sales since 2009, during the financial crisis.

Much like the Western world’s Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, the Chinese Lunar holiday is one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year. However, according to Caroline Mak, chairman of the Hong Kong Retail Management Association, “sales of jewelry and valuable watches during Chinese New Year were quite disappointing.”

It’s likely that many citizens are being more cautionary with their wealth in the new year and changing their spending attitudes when it comes to luxury and brand items. In 2010, China ranked as the world’s second largest consumer market for luxury and brand items, after Japan. This year, however, shoppers seem to be taking more time when buying – browsing, window shopping and even comparing items before they buy.  Some consumers who were out buying items like diamonds were purchasing smaller diamonds because of the price, according to the report.

Source: International Business Times