China: Das gelobte Land oder eher eine unrealistische Hoffnung? Der Markt für Luxusartikel boomt. Zweistellige Zuwachsraten sind die Regel. Kurzfristig sehen Analysten jedoch die größten Wachstumschancen ausserhalb Chinas. The figures are fabulous. Studying the financial reports of luxury brands, China emerges as the 21st century's promised land: Every major publicly quoted company boasted double digit increases in sales last year. Gucci showed an increase of 58.6 percent in mainland China. China is the buzzword on every executive's lips and the news is all about growth: Prada is committed to 30 stores in mainland China by 2008. In pie charts of sales by geographical areas, Asia is increasingly taking the biggest bite - hovering at just under 50 percent for the largest brands with the other slices divided between Europe and the United States. But a close look at the percentage information suggests that Chinese growth may, for many brands, be more like pie in the sky. Significantly, most companies do not break out China mainland figures, making them part of "Asia excluding Japan," which sweeps through South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to Australia. Paul Husband, a Hong Kong retail consultant, says that his city is by far the most productive market in Asia outside Japan. "China is a very small percentage - one quarter to one third of Hong Kong on per-square-foot basis," Husband says. "But it is growing - and at a more rapid rate in the last year."
Back in Paris, Dior has taken a significant step: Mandarin speakers are being hired for the Avenue Montaigne store. ... the strategy of the leading brands is to capture the Chinese client in an as-yet unseen role as dominant world tourists. The relaxing of travel restrictions on mainland Chinese has certainly galvanized retail in Hong Kong and burnished its image as a shopping mecca.


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