Women have traditionally been known as the big shoppers in luxury retail. But China is no traditional market.
Men account for about 55 percent of China’s luxury goods market, much higher than the 40 percent global average, according to research firm CLSA.
Furthermore, Chinese men are not only outspending Chinese women on luxury goods — 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) in 2010 versus 2.8 billion yuan according to Bain — they outspend them in many categories, reports China Daily.
“Chinese men spent on average 61 percent more than Chinese women on fragrances and 52 percent more on watches,” says Vinay Dixit of McKinsey’s Asia Consumer Center. Men account for about 45 percent of China’s $1.2 billion luxury bag market compared to 7 percent in the United States, according to Victor Luis, President of Coach Retail International.
What is driving this surge in male spending in China?
There are just more men — 23 million more men — due to China’s one-child policy. With a population heavily skewed, these men need to stand out, especially when competing for partners.
Or maybe, simply for pleasure and enjoyment. PR Manager Luckas Lee, who spends about 5,000 yuan shopping every month, states, “I think because these days, Chinese men love beautiful things more.” Attitudes toward shopping have changed.
“In the past, they buying cars to have the commercial purpose. But nowadays, they are buying a lot of the luxury coupe, SUVs and smaller Sedans, trying to entertain themselves. You know, they are buying cars for driving pleasure, for fun and also as a statement, you know, who I am. For men, they’re primarily looking for the premium brands for watches, shoes and costumes. And basically that is going to reward themselves and meanwhile have their own personal statement of their status and identity,” said Jeffrey Zhao, Associate Director of Consumer Research at Nielsen.
photo credit: hugo boss