Est. June 12th 2009 / Desde 12 de Junho de 2009

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sábado, 28 de novembro de 2009

Luxury: the Love Affair - o gosto chinês

Radha Chadha

Entrevista publicada esta semana na newsletter da Câmara de Comércio de Hong Kong com a "guru" do Luxo, Radha Chadha:

Brand consultant Radha Chadha is one of Asia’s leading marketing and consumer insights experts. After working with top international advertising agencies, Ms Chadha set up Chadha Strategy Consulting in Hong Kong in 2000. She also wrote The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia’s Love Affair with Luxury, which ranked number three on’s best-selling new releases in its category. In Six Questions, Ms Chadha talks about mainland shoppers’ love affair with top brands, and why Hong Kong is still the best place to get them.

How would you profile the luxe shopper of today?
Hong Kong shoppers are the most sophisticated in Asia, after Japan. They’ve had more time and experience with luxury brands, and so are much more into it. The luxury phenomenon also cuts across different levels of society. Even people on more moderate salaries like to buy at least one luxury piece each year.

What about the Chinese mainland shopper?
The mainland Chinese shopper has come into money more recently, and when it is new money, they like to show it off. They buy brands that are instantly recognisable as being expensive. So with bags, they tend to go with brands that do the “talking” for you. And even with wine, wealthy mainlanders tend to focus on top-of-the-line brands like Chateaux Lafite, Chateaux Latour and Mouton Rothschild, which immediately communicate wealth.

Why do so many mainlanders come to Hong Kong to shop for luxury goods?
There is a much wider selection of brands and products in Hong Kong, and prices are definitely lower than on the mainland. Shoppers can save, in general, 10 per cent to 15 per cent here because Hong Kong is a duty-free port. Then, there is the whole experience of shopping abroad. Hong Kong is a luxury-shopping destination, so it has glitz and glamour.

Where do mainlanders like to shop?
Hong Kong is very interesting as it has different districts for different shopper profiles. The very high end will shop, along with Hong Kong people, at the Landmark or ifc mall in Central. Pacific Place and Causeway Bay are popular, too. Then there is the touristy shopper, who will prefer Kowloon; a number of brands have set up there to cater for mainland shoppers in Kowloon.

Has the global financial crisis slowed luxury shoppers?
Luxury-brand shopping is very much linked to the economy, and Hong Kong has been hit. Stores going on sale early provide one of the indicators. The mainland, on the other hand, has been one of the bright spots in a rather dismal year, globally, for the luxury market. According to a recent JP Morgan report, most luxe companies grew 40 per cent or more on the mainland, and the Chinese consumer base [locals plus travelers] grew 30 per cent.

Can Hong Kong retain its position as the luxury shop window for China?
From a company viewpoint, Hong Kong is a great place. As there are no duties, you can keep prices lower. It’s one of the easiest places in the world to do business, and has low corporate taxes. The shopping malls are well-developed, and it is easier to get good staff. But places like Shanghai are developing their luxury quotient quickly, and Tokyo has started wooing the mainland shopper. Hong Kong needs to keep doing what it’s doing: developing an even more sophisticated retail offering and, most importantly, understanding mainland shoppers and catering to their needs. Building up a local fashion industry would also help.

Related Link
Chadha Strategy Consulting
Radha Chadha blogs at

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