Wed, Dec 05, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Chinese appetite for luxury brands hit by slowdown

AP, BEIJING

Under that scenario, spending abroad would rise from US$67 billion to US$85 to US$95 billion.

Meanwhile, the customs agency is cracking down on informal imports by searching the luggage of travelers returning from Europe and other shopping destinations.

Last month, a trader was sentenced to 10 years in prison for smuggling designer clothing from Hong Kong without paying China’s higher import duty, according to news reports.

“This shocked the whole industry. Nobody dares to continue to act as purchasing agents,” Donge Investment Management Co said. “This has an immediate impact on the sales of the overseas retailers.”

Anxiety over possible terrorist attacks has prompted some Chinese to avoid Paris, London and other shopping destinations. In the US, retailers face pressure from a weak yuan, which makes prices in US dollars more expensive for Chinese shoppers.

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

Chinese tourist arrivals in the US 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 US to buy an American luxury brand, that’s not their first choice anymore,” Cavender said. “They would rather go to Japan, New Zealand or someplace in Europe where the process is easier.”

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