Economic Watch: Global luxury brands poised for new take-off in China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 19, 2023
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BEIJING, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Global luxury brands are poised to unlock fresh business growth points and tap into the vast Chinese consumer market, as China's economy is showing a faster-than-expected recovery.

"2023 is a year full of hope after the peak of COVID in China and all the measures are in place to relaunch the economy and consumption," Sophie Phe, the CEO of Remy Cointreau China, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"We have seen the demand and vibrancy of the Chinese market return this year and the prospects are very exciting. Chinese customers are hungry for in-person experiences and are returning to physical stores as well as continuing to access our digital platforms. There is pent-up demand in China and the rest of Asia that we are now seeing released," noted Adam Hershman, vice president of TUMI Asia Pacific and Middle East.

China's economy grew at a faster pace in the first quarter of 2023, with gross domestic product growing 4.5 percent year on year to 28.5 trillion yuan (about 4.14 trillion U.S. dollars) and major indicators showing an upward trend and improvement in market expectations.

In particular, retail sales of consumer goods went up 5.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, reversing a decline of 2.7 percent in the final quarter of last year.

These figures have again bolstered the confidence of luxury brands in ramping up investment in the world's second largest consumer market.

As a renowned company in the global spirits market, Remy Cointreau Group still expects a bigger market share in China, as in the spirits category, imported products only account for about 3 percent of the total alcohol market in terms of value in China, Phe noted.

"Some categories like cognac and single malt are growing fast. Consumers have the appetite for exceptional spirits with history and craftsmanship, and they are curious about how these products are made and the way to enjoy them," she said.

Bullish on rosy prospects and massive potential, the group has increased investment in China in recent years, including opening its first sustainability bar in Shanghai in February and a new boutique at the Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex.

Noting that the company still sees a lot of scope to grow in the Chinese market, Hershman said TUMI is "encouraged by all the positive economic developments and projects, like the Hainan Free Trade Port, as they create even more opportunities for brands."

Mirko Bordiga, managing director of Maserati Greater China, is currently attending the Auto Shanghai 2023. Highlighting that next year marks the 20th anniversary of Maserati's presence in China, Bordiga said the carmaker has been a witness to the evolution of the Chinese auto market.

"Chinese customers have become extremely conscious and extremely competent when it comes to cars during the past years. And obviously this reverberates positively to the upper part of the range, so the pursuit of luxury cars has obviously been increasing. Though the epidemic affected us last year, we are confident that the situation will improve and it's already improving," Bordiga added.

China has, on various occasions, stressed its commitment to enhancing high-quality development and high-level opening up. The country is ready to provide a larger Chinese market to the world and bring more development opportunities to all countries.

As a regular participant at the China International Import Expo and the China International Consumer Products Expo, Remy Cointreau has already laid out plans to broaden its footprint in the Chinese market.

"Over the past three years, despite the pandemic, Remy Cointreau China has continuously expanded its business in China and grown investments behind its brands. The group is confident about the future in China, especially after the peak of COVID and the start of recovery in the market," said Phe.

"We are very supportive of the government's efforts to open up and boost trade," said Hershman, adding the recent positive economic policies will boost overall trade, tourism and demand in the Chinese market and will positively affect regional trade. Enditem

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