China Luxury Customer

A rise in the spending power of China‘s younger consumers is apparently not helping them when it comes to picking up a little style at the same time.

Mainland Chinese media have this week picked up on a report released by the Hong Kong Institute of Fashion Buying and given it a interesting spin, saying that while more and more younger Chinese are now able to spend lavishly on luxury goods, they have been unable to pick up the one thing money can’t buy — good taste.

That report showed that the age group for consumers of luxury goods and high-end fashion in China was between 20 and 50 years old — and compared that to the age group of 40 and 60 years old found for the same habits in Japan.

What’s more, another report — this time from consumer analysts McKinsey & Co — claimed that an impressive 73 percent of those buying luxury goods in China were aged 45 and younger, compared to the 50 percent recorded in the United States.

The people at the Hong Kong Institute of Fashion Buying say that the main trends in spending when it comes to China’s younger generation are “one-off consumption” and “purchasing on a sudden impulse.”

And the result of all that, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper, is that decisions are not made by taste but by “ignorance.”

The paper turned to an editor of an entertainment program on Shanghai television for advice and she apparently thought the same thing.

“Chinese consumers do not have good taste in luxury consumption. They buy things just because a magazine or luxury website told them it is worth buying,” said Helen Wu.

China has seen a boom in online luxury shopping websites in recent years — and there are now more than 50 offering such services.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences last year estimated the country’s luxury goods market would be worth US$14.6 billion within five years — making it the largest of its kind on the planet.