Luxury Sales Are Rebounding in China. Just Not in Stores.
LONDON — After several years of slumber, China’s luxury market is finally returning to growth. You would not know that, though, from peering into its — mostly empty — high-end stores.
slumber：沉睡，此句也可把slumber替換為其他詞：After several years of standstill（停滯），或者 China's deep-sleeping luxury market. 由中文反推一下英文。
Western luxury brands have banked for years on rapid growth in China to drive global profits. The country’s breakneck economic expansion created legions of wealthy consumers keen to flaunt their newfound status. Many traveled overseas, buying high-end handbags and exotic watches in London, Milan, Paris and elsewhere.
to depend on something happening or someone doing something
But when luxury retailers invested heavily to bolster their marketing and expand their store networks within China, the bet never quite paid off. A slowdown in the Chinese economy, as well as an anti-corruption campaign led by the country’s president, Xi Jinping, left customers less willing to splash large amounts of money.
揮霍大量金錢：splash large amounts of money
squander sth on sth
That is now changing. Sales of luxury goods in mainland China are forecast to grow by between 20 and 22 percent this year, according to a report by the consulting firm Bain & Company. The authors of the study, one of the most closely watched overviews of the global high-end retail market, predicted that such expansion would drive up growth across the global luxury market by as much as 8 percent.
這一點現在正在改變。根據貝恩咨詢公司(Bain & Company)的報告，中國大陸奢侈品銷量預計在今年將有20%至22%的增長。該研究是觀察全球高端零售市場最受關注的概述之一，研究作者預計，這種擴張將帶動全球奢侈品市場最高可達8%的增長。
On the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities, however, luxury shoppers are hard to find. And that is because the country is increasingly leading a shift in how such shopping is carried out.
Take the Taikoo Li shopping center, regularly touted as proof of the rising power of the Chinese consumer.
Its 19 buildings, in one of Beijing’s busiest retail areas, house some of the world’s biggest brands — Versace, Balenciaga and a two-story Apple store that was once pelted with eggs by customers angry over a botched iPhone launch.
The sight of would-be buyers in any of those luxury shops, however, is extremely rare. Salespeople have little to do except mill around and stare through the front windows.
Instead, customers in China buy their luxury goods from elsewhere — and increasingly online. Whereas groups like LVMH Mo?t Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Kering have traditionally invested heavily in a flawless in-store experience, catering to consumers who want to be pampered and doted upon, Chinese shoppers are typically younger and heavily influenced by social media.
dote on/upon?sbphr v
to love someone very much, and show this by your actions
More and more, they like to spend their money in a digital shopping culture that is distinct from that of Europe and North America, and they are well versed in price differences across the world.
As a result, luxury brands have revised their pricing strategies in China, and have worked to cater to local customers. They communicate with customers via WeChat, a ubiquitous messaging and social media app that is increasingly used as a shopping portal; they work with regional celebrities and “influencers”; and they offer additional services like?white-gloved delivery staff?to replicate the old-fashioned shopping experience.
“Buyers of luxury in China are young, increasingly fashion-savvy and well aware of the price-value equation,” said the lead author of the study, Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain partner. According to Ms. D’Arpizio, the strong performance of the mainland China market suggests that luxury brands’ new strategies are bearing fruit.
“The Chinese are accelerating the shift of the luxury industry to a more millennial state of mind,” she added, “and are responsible for much of the sales growth we have seen so far this year.”