Chinese consumers increasingly search for retail “experiences”
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Chinese consumers increasingly search for retail “experiences”

It’s well-known that shoppers in the west are searching for “experiential” retail experiences. That’s truer of the luxury sector than, perhaps, anywhere else, given its higher pricing points and long association with values like opulence and exclusivity. But, according to Ravi Thakran, LVMH’s group chairman for south and southeast Asia, Australia, and the Middle East, this trend is also becoming important in China.

LVMH’s share price has risen by 9% year to date

graph 1511 lvmh

Source: Yahoo Finance

Thakran says that luxury aficionados in the east are experiencing a shift towards experiential retail. It’s the latest example of fast-learning Chinese consumers closing the sophistication gap with their European and American peers. He told listeners at a recent New York Times luxury conference in Hong Kong that Chinese people aren’t just interested in buying wine “but visiting a chateau,” and that they’re “not just buying Louis Vuitton” but interested in “going to the factory where they can see how it’s made.”

According to Thakran, this is particularly true of younger Chinese consumers. And brands that want to capture the attention of not just millennials, but the up-and-coming Generation Z, need to make sure they’re delivering the kind of retail experiences that these customers are calling out for.

Thakran added that, despite pressure from the on-going trade disputes, the Chinese market remains “one of the biggest” for luxury brands in the world, and is a key driver of growth. This sentiment mirrors that expressed by LVMH executives in the company’s last earnings report, which demonstrated continuing strong demand in China.


Dominion holds LVMH in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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