Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Who's the Most Materialistic of Them All? China?

According to the People’s Daily Online- quoting Robert Polet, CEO of the Gucci Group, “China will replace the U.S. as the world’s second largest luxury goods market this year…” Who’s the largest consumer of luxury goods you may ask?  Good question- there’s a mix of writers and reporters with varying things to say on who is number one.  Some say North America- other’s claim Western Europe as the savviest and most materialistic when it comes to things expensive; however, according to this Chinese-centric website- last year, 2008, “the wealthy from Chinese mainland purchased one quarter of the world’s luxury goods.”


Their reasons?  Read below.  Most probably converted from Chinese to English, it may have read better in Chinese?  And my English sucks anyways, but their premise is simple- one- the newly wealthy in China; two- the Chinese luxury goods buyer is loyal to brands (at least this is how I’m interpreting anyway…) and three- the rich kids in China can afford the goods with their parents money.


The third point, I may add, applies to any and every nation where parents have lots of money- and is not “exclusive” to the Chinese. 


(Bad puns totally intended.)


Courtesy of the People’s Daily Online, Published Today:

Chinese customers are young and have strong consumption potential for the world's luxury brands. According to relevant statistics, Chinese customers purchased 60 percent of their luxury goods when they traveled overseas. "Traveling abroad has become the important factor boosting luxury goods consumption."

According to Liu Jinshan, director of the Economics Department of Jinan University, three factors accounted for the upward trends in luxury goods consumption in China. Firstly, there is a group of newly affluent people who seek high-level and personalized goods. Secondly, they set an example for huge numbers of white collar workers who are acting as loyal slaves to the luxury brands. Thirdly, children of these rich families can afford the high-end products with their parents’ financial support.

As for the development trend of China's luxury goods market, insiders estimate that Chinese people will spend up to 14.6 billion U.S. dollars on luxury goods in the next five years, marking China's status as the world's largest luxury goods market.