In years past, Chinese consumers often used holiday breaks for overseas travel. However, with more consumers spending time at home, China’s citizens are increasingly spending their yuan on imported luxury goods instead of shopping overseas.
What does this mean for U.S. businesses hoping to attract Chinese customers?
Chinese spending trends
During China’s National Day holiday break, many consumers made the trip to Hainan, a popular island destination known for duty-free shops that sell imported luxury goods. Shoppers spent the equivalent of $254.4 million on goods such as cosmetics and designer bags, representing a 75% increase over 2020 sales and a 359% increase over 2019. Luxury shopping was not the only win over the Chinese holiday. Movie theaters showing patriotic war films also raked in 4.2 billion yuan.
What the trend means for U.S. businesses
Chinese consumers have a reputation for their love of foreign goods. Shopping trends suggest that they are shifting purchasing behavior away from buying these goods while traveling in foreign countries to buying from local importers. While this trend could be bad news for U.S. businesses that rely on tourist dollars, it may be a boon to businesses that position themselves to capitalize on exporting in-demand products to Chinese consumers who have little choice but to find ways to satisfy their cravings for foreign goods by shopping at home.
Ongoing trade discussions between China and the United States may have a big impact on how well business owners can take advantage of the emerging Chinese import market. Savvy exporters may be wise to prepare to strike while the iron is hot.