As Shanghai emerges from some of the toughest pandemic restrictions globally, its lucrative luxury shopping sector faces uncertain times and brands are having to rethink their strategies to attract shoppers. So, what new shopping trends are drawing luxury consumers to make a purchase?
Professor Jaehee Jung is a professor of fashion and apparel studies at Delaware University. An expert in global international business practices and consumer behaviour, Professor Jung examines cultural influences on international luxury brand and marketing strategies and also focuses on the psychology of fashion and consumer behaviour, body image issues, and beauty standards in consumer culture.
Professor Zi Wang is a lecturer in marketing at Sussex Business School in the UK. Her research interests focus on luxury consumption, consumer wellbeing, and self-concepts, with a specific focus on how novel consumption patterns have influenced consumer vulnerability. She’s the author of a number of research papers, including a comparative study on luxury consumption patterns between the US and China.
Gouri Sharma is an internationally renowned independent journalist from London living in Berlin writing for international media sites including Al Jazeera English and Deutsche Welle. Amid a career spanning nearly two decades, including five years on the production desk for Al Jazeera's flagship media critique show The Listening Post, Gouri now writes on issues such as race, culture, migration, history, and sexual health and wellness. With each report, she aims to draw out the individual story amid the wider political or historical context; centring the human story is a priority, in particular amplifying the voices of those from marginalised communities whose stories are not as visible.
Pandemic-era restrictions in China meant that millions of wealthy consumers were unable to access the luxury capitals of the Western world. With high taxes put on luxury goods, the government has made moves to increase the accessibility of luxury goods in domestic markets for its citizens.
As affluent luxury consumers in China demand brands take steps to be accountable for their environmental impact, these companies are pivoting to flout their sustainable credentials. For legacy brand Erdos, this means diversifying the product offer and targeting new markets.
With store closures, reduced custom, and an abundance of excess stock, the luxury industry is feeling the impact of the pandemic. Alibaba hopes that Luxury Soho, a platform to sell excess stock at discounted prices, will lure Chinese Gen Zers into post-COVID-19 spending.
As lockdown restrictions ease across China, shoppers are returning to the luxury retail market with a renewed focus on long-term investments. But there are generational differences as older shoppers opt for traditional brands, while younger shoppers search for seasonal trends.