Downturn in luxury purchases, certainly in the US – Ben Cavender

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Ben Cavender

Consumers from China are spending less, and certainly luxury brands in the US will feel the downturn at least in the short run, says luxury consumer expert Ben Cavender to AP. Tighter visa restrictions under President Donald Trump also make it harder for Chinese shoppers to get to the United States.

AP:

Forecasters including Euromonitor International and Bain & Co. say Chinese customers will be the luxury industry’s main growth engine over the next decade. But this year, shoppers are skittish amid cooling economic growth, trade tension with Washington and weak real estate and stock markets.

“Consumers are just not as excited about spending that kind of money right now,” said Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.

Demand for Tom Ford suits and Jimmy Choo shoes held up better than some other Chinese spending as economic activity slowed following a government clampdown on bank lending to cool a debt boom…

In the United States, retailers face pressure from China’s weak yuan, which makes prices in dollars more expensive for Chinese shoppers.

Tighter visa restrictions under President Donald Trump also make it harder for Chinese shoppers to get to the United States, said Cavender.

Chinese tourist arrivals in the United States fell 20 percent from a year earlier to 880,000 in the three months ending in September, according to an estimate by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute in Hamburg, Germany. The number going to France rose 20.7 percent to 664,800 and those bound for Italy rose 18.9 percent to 850,000.

“If people previously were going to the U.S. to buy an American luxury brand, that’s not their first choice anymore,” said Cavender. “They would rather go to Japan, New Zealand or someplace in Europe where the process is easier.”

More at AP.

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