China has been the bright spot in the luxury car universe for years, but in the first quarter of this year growth slowed to only 4 per cent. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir reports on how the Chinese government’s anti-corruption drive and a slowing economy are hitting luxury car sales.
The timing is exquisite. Just a day after China’s government said the country had entered a period of slower growth, along come two companies from opposite ends of the consumer goods spectrum (both French) to illustrate what the change means. Feeling the pain is LVMH, the luxury conglomerate. First quarter sales in Asia (outside Japan) grew by 12 per cent. That is not bad, but it is a slowdown from the 17 per cent growth reported in the same period in 2012. Continue reading »
Wow. We knew Chinese babies were guzzling back so much foreign-made formula that British and supermarkets had to impose rationing. Now it appears their parents are handing over cans of stuff as gifts at Chinese new year, rather than the more traditional – and surely welcome – bottles of Scotch and Cognac. Continue reading »
So when it comes to champagne, where are the big growth markets? The Brics? To an extent, yes. But there is one country high on the list that might surprise: Nigeria, which is expected to see the second biggest increase in sales volume over the next five years. How come? Chart of the week takes a look. Continue reading »
By James Kynge, principal of FT China Confidential
Frugality may be the new watchword of incoming President Xi Jinping, but while wealthy Chinese consumers may be cutting conspicuous consumption at home, they are spending ever-larger sums in ever-greater numbers abroad.
A recent survey by FT China Confidential shows the wealthiest 26 per cent of outbound tourists spent an average of Rmb32,628 ($5,241) on their most recent overseas trip, with shopping accounting for almost half the total spend (Rmb15,699).
Furthermore, this cohort of 21m travellers, which we expect to grow significantly in the coming years, plans to spend an average of Rmb43,770 ($7,032) on their next overseas trip this year, representing a 34 per cent increase on their most recent trip. Continue reading »
Is it party time again for Chinese distillers? It has been a rough few months for the makers of China’s fiery baijiu spirits. Their sales and stock prices slumped after Xi Jinping, the incoming president, railed against corruption and banned the boozy banquets loved by officials across the country.
But like a passed-out drinker getting a second wind, the distillers picked themselves off the floor in rousing fashion to end the week. The share prices of many of China’s biggest brands – Kweichou Moutai, Wuliangye and Jiugui – leaped 4-10 per cent over the last three days of the week, while the broader Chinese stock market fell 5 per cent, its worst week since mid-2011. Continue reading »
What’s the point of belonging to the emerging middle class if you don’t look good? That’s the idea behind KupiVIP, Russia’s leading online fashion store, which expects annual revenues to reach a billion dollars by the end of the decade. Continue reading »
Chinese shoppers are known for their love of luxury goods, but as the domestic economy continues to slow many are discovering a taste for thrift. The FT’s Patti Waldmeir looks at the changing attitudes to luxury shopping and the growth of boutiques specialising in second-hand designer goods.
From its distilleries in deepest Scotland, Diageo has got one eye on Africa. The world’s biggest drinks company has been pushing its Scotch whisky brands on the continent and its efforts are paying dividends.
Buoyed by a series of marketing campaigns featuring local celebrities – including Ethiopian Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie – Diageo’s sales of the spirit in Africa grew by 20 per cent in the last financial year, led by its famous blended Scotch brand Johnnie Walker, which shot up by a whopping 40 per cent over the period. Continue reading »
China’s big spenders have finally made it to the top of the league table: according to reports published on Wednesday by McKinsey and Bain, mainlanders are now the world’s biggest luxury buyers – even if they choose to do more and more of their shopping away from home. Continue reading »
This April one of Warsaw’s historic hotels, the Europejski, begins a €65m renovation that will see it reincarnated as only the second European hotel run by Raffles Hotels & Resorts – a sign that the Polish capital is slowly scrambling higher up the luxury market food chain.
“There will be nothing comparable on the market,” says Joseph Hannah, the hotel’s managing director who represents Vera Michalski-Hoffman, a Swiss businesswoman who bought two-thirds of the hotel from its aristocratic founding families. Continue reading »
Alrosa, Russia’s state diamond producer, has held back rough diamond supplies this year in a bid to shore up sagging world prices for luxury sparkling gems. With no end to the downturn in sight, the company is taking a new tack, securing long term diamond sales contracts with global jewellery retailers willing to guarantee purchases even in challenging times. Continue reading »
The final tally is in from Christie’s annual Autumn sales in Hong Kong and the auction house is gloating. Last month, rival Sotheby’s sold 37 per cent less at this year’s Hong Kong sales than it did a year ago. Christie’s, however, got away with a far less dramatic 9 per cent year-on-year decline from its six-day sales, which raised around $333m including buyers’ premiums. Continue reading »
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