Gone are the days when luxury meant owning a colored TV set or dining out at a western fast food eatery such as McDonalds; Chinese consumers are now eyeing high-end luxury goods with ever more money in their once flat pockets.

China’s rapid evolution from a basic emerging market to a sophisticated economic powerhouse is ready to see the country become the world’s largest luxury goods market over the next decade.

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, majority owned by France’s Credit Agricole SA, expects China to account for as much as 44 percent of global luxury sales by 2020, up from the current 15 percent.

CLSA also predicted that overall consumption in China will rise by 11 percent annually over the next five years, while sales of luxury goods will grow more than twice as quickly, by 25 percent a year.

Shanghai shopping
There were 1,363 billionaires in China last year, and the number of people worth at least 10 million yuan are no fewer than 875,000. Picture: Camilla Davidsson

Louis Vuitton Malletier’s biggest customers were already Chinese buyers, while China represented 18 percent of sales for Gucci, 14 percent for Bulgari and 11 percent for Hermes,said CLSA.

Capturing this vast market and tapping into expanding wallets is front and center in terms of strategy for many of the world’s best known luxury brands, which are rapidly ramping up in China.

Fang Shuhua, vice president of the corporate and private jet department of Airbus, told Xinhua that China has become the fastest-growing market for Airbus’ corporate jet business, and orders placed by Chinese customers make up 25 percent of the world’s total.

“China’s corporate jet market has a promising future and we are confident of ever more sales growth in the Chinese market.” Fang said.

There were 1,363 billionaires in China last year, and the number of people worth at least 10 million yuan are no fewer than 875,000, the Global Times reported on Feb.18.

Meanwhile, the market for luxury has extended far beyond China’s nouveau riche as ever more white-collar workers are also demonstrating a swelling enthusiasm for luxury.

Some people with meager incomes are even going out of their way to seek designs that have a unique way of burnishing their own heritage.

To white-collar worker Zou Xiaoqing, it is not unusual for her to spend one or two-months salary on a Chanel bag or a pair of Prada shoes.

Read more: http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90861/7339454.html

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