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中国何处无富人

  随着中国对奢侈品的需求以每年25%的速度增长,所有奢侈品牌都在计划到中国投资,下个月,宝格丽(Bulgari)将开设其在华的最大一家门店。

  但这个意大利品牌的选址地点却远离上海绿树成行的购物区和北京华丽的购物中心。

相反,宝格丽将店址选在了中国东北地区的心脏、工业城市沈阳。该公司的亚洲销售额去年增长了75%。

  宝格丽的选择说明,奢侈品公司正如何快速将其业务从传统中心扩大到以前未曾触及的中国城市地区。

  沈阳就是一个很好的例子。沈阳曾是中国清王朝的都城,近年来与举步维艰的国有重工业联系更为密切。然而,宝格丽相信,这座400万人口的城市如今也拥有许多新财富,等待着花在奢侈手表和珠宝上。

  宝格丽并非唯一一家将目光放在规模较小、不那么时尚的中国城市的公司。例如,乔治·阿玛尼(GiorgioArmani)今年将开设19家门店,其中许多都位于沈阳、济南、宁波和成都等中等城市。路易·威登(LouisVuitton)也追随了这一趋势,在过去两年开设了4家门店,全部位于中等城市——沈阳、成都、温州和昆明。

  主要奢侈品中心的零售商也一直在寻找途径,瞄准较小型城市不断涌现的商业精英。

  赛特购物中心(ScitechPlaza)是北京最老的高端购物中心之一。在去年庆祝成立14周年之际,赛特在近年煤矿开采(其中一些是非法的)热潮产生大量百万富翁的山西省投放电视广告,引发了300万美元的奢侈品消费热——创下该店迄今最高的单日销售额纪录。

  奢侈品向中国二线城市扩张只是一个时间问题。美国投资银行高盛(GoldmanSachs)的研究显示,中国已成为全球第三大奢侈品消费国,预计将在2015年超过日本,摘下亚军桂冠。届时,估计中国将占到全球全部奢侈品销售额的29%。

  “中国的规模将相当于10个日本,”咨询顾问拉达·查达哈(RadhaChadha)表示,“目前奢侈品牌触及的只是冰山一角。”查达哈也是《奢侈品膜拜:亚洲人士追捧奢侈品牌的奥秘》(TheCult ofthe Luxury Brand: Inside Asias Love AffairwithLuxury)一书的作者。本书分析了亚洲人迷恋奢侈品的原因,这种迷恋已将亚洲地区变成了奢侈品行业的最大消费者,而中国是其中一颗冉冉升起的新星。

  查达哈表示,多数亚洲国家等级森严,始终存在着某种阶级体系,但快速的经济增长打破了这些体系,人们只好自己寻找方法,明确自己的社会地位。

  在中国,计划经济的放开,以及超富资本家阶层崛起带来的巨大变化,增强了中国人明确自身地位的需要。

  “这就是奢侈品牌进入的契机,带着它们响亮而清晰的标识,”查达哈表示。“穿戴上奢侈品,你就是在让全世界知道,你有多么成功,你在社会中处于什么地位。”

  中国人对奢侈品消费的热情不断刷新着纪录。去年10月,在上海举办的奢侈品展览——国际顶级私人物品展(TopMarques)上,富有的中国人排起长队,争相涌到这里,希望一睹价值120万美元的KoenigseggCCR跑车以及价值30万美元的DeBethune手表,在为期4天的消费狂潮中花掉了6300万美元。

  美林(MerrillLynch)和凯捷公司(CapGemini)编制的报告显示,中国有32万个百万富翁,其中许多人都渴望炫耀自己的财富。英国服装品牌雅格狮丹(Aquascutum)董事长塔卡基·卡瓦什玛(TakaakiKawashima)表示:“中国出现了一个新的实力阶层,他们在商界和政界相当成功,穿上我们这类的品牌是他们炫耀这种实力的一种方式。”

  尽管浮华商品倾向于主导中国市场,但行业人士表示,他们也看到更为低调的消费者群体正在崛起,他们喜欢不那么引人注目的商品。

  “不断有人在谈论中国的炫富消费,这与许多人一夜暴富有关,”《Vogue服饰与美容》(VogueChina)编辑张宇(AngelicaCheung)表示,“但我们也开始看到消费者在变得更加成熟。”

  张宇相信,康斯薇洛·卡斯蒂廖尼(ConsueloCastiglioni)的Marni等更低调的奢侈品牌的成功表明,愿意花500美元购买一双凉鞋的消费者大有人在。ConsueloCastiglioni去年在上海和北京开设了门店。

  另外一个例子是,BottegaVeneta今年也在上海和北京开设了门店。这个古姿(Gucci)集团旗下品牌的皮包并没有携带标识。但这种低调购物并不便宜:上海门店最贵的一款皮包标价超过4.2万元人民币(合5400美元)。

  张宇表示:“这个新的中国消费阶层愿意把钱花在质量和风格上,而不是展示在袖子上。”

  《Vogue服饰与美容》用自己的方式,展示着中国对各种奢侈品的兴趣。在去年创刊之际,该杂志的出版商CondeNast做好了亏损几年的准备。但张宇表示,该杂志在创刊第一年就实现了盈利。

  With demand increasing at 25 per cent a year, every luxurybrandis planning investments in China and next month jewellerBulgariwill open its biggest store in the country.

  But the Italian brands glitzy shop will be far fromthetree-lined shopping districts of Shanghai and the polished mallsofBeijing. Instead, Bulgari, which saw its Asian sales rise 75percent last year, has chosen the industrial city of Shenyang, attheheart of Chinas north-eastern rust-belt.

  The choice illustrates how luxury companies are rapidlybroadeningtheir operations away from the traditional centres intopreviouslyuntapped parts of urban China

  Shenyang is a good example. Once the nations capital duringtheQing dynasty, in recent years the city has been morecloselyassociated with struggling state-owned heavy industries.YetBulgari is betting that the city of 4m people also now boastsmanynew fortunes waiting to be spent on luxury watches andjewels.

  Bulgari is not alone in setting its eyes on smaller andlessfashionable Chinese cities. Giorgio Armani, for instance,isopening 19 stores this year, many of them in middle-sizedcitiessuch as Shenyang, Jinan, Ningbo and Chengdu. Louis Vuittonhasfollowed the same trend and set up four outlets in the pasttwoyears, all in middle-sized cities – Shenyang, Chengdu, WenzhouandKunming.

  Luxury retailers in the main centres have also been trying tofindways of tapping the emerging business elite in smallercities.

  When Scitech Plaza, one of Beijings oldest top-enddepartmentstores, celebrated its 14th anniversary last year, itboughttelevision advertising in the central province of Shanxi,where therecent boom in coal-mining (some of it illegal) hasspawned a largenumber of millionaires. The result was a $3m luxurygoods spendingspree – the stores highest ever one-day salesrevenue.

  The expansion of luxury towards Chinese second-tier citieswasonly a matter of time. The country is already theworldsthird-biggest luxury goods consumer and is expected tosurpassJapan in second place in 2015, according to research byGoldmanSachs, the US investment bank. By then it will account foranestimated 29 per cent of all luxury goods sales.

  “China will be like 10 Japans,” says the consultant RadhaChadha,author of The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asias LoveAffairwith Luxury. “Only the tip of the iceberg has been touchedbyluxury brands.” The book explores the reasons why Asiansareobsessed with luxury goods, which has turned the region intotheindustrys biggest consumer, with China its rising star.

  Ms Chadha says most Asian countries are strongly hierarchicalandalways had some sort of class system, yet rapideconomicdevelopment has broken down these systems, leaving peoplesearchingfor ways to clarify their position in society.

  In the case of China, the dramatic changes brought about bytheliberalisation of a state-planned economy and emergence of aclassof super-rich capitalists have reinforced the need forstatusvalidation.

  “Thats where luxury brands come in, with their loud andclearlogos,” explains Ms Chadha. “By wearing them, you are lettingtheworld know how well youve done and where you standinsociety.”

  The Chinese passion for luxury consumption continues tosetbenchmarks. At the Shanghai edition of the luxury goods fairTopMarques in October, a long line of wealthy Chinese, who flockedtosee a $1.2m Koenigsegg CCR sports car and $300,000 DeBethunewatches, spent $63m in a four-day shopping binge.

  According to a report by Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini, Chinahas320,000 millionaires and many are keen on showing off how muchtheyare worth. “There is a new group of powerful people in Chinawhohave done well in business and politics and wearing a brandlikeours is a way of showing off that power,” says TakaakiKawashima,chairman of British clothes brand Aquascutum.

  Although more flashy items have tended to dominate theChinesemarket, people in the industry say they are also witnessingtheemergence of a more low-key consumer, who favourslessattention-grabbing pieces.

  “Much has been said about vulgar spending in China which has todowith the fact that many fortunes have been carved outliterallyovernight,” says Angelica Cheung, editor of Vogue China.“But weare starting to see a more sophisticated consumer.”

  Ms Cheung believes the success of more understated luxurybrandssuch as Consuelo Castiglionis Marni – which has openedstores inboth Shanghai and Beijing last year – shows there arealsoconsumers who will fork out $500 for a pair of sandals.

  Another example is the opening this year of Bottega Venetastoresin Shanghai and Beijing. Part of the Gucci group, thebrandstrademark leather bags do not carry logos. But suchdiscreetshopping does not come cheap: the most expensive piece intheShanghai store has a price tag of more than RMB42,000($5,400).

  “This new class of Chinese consumers is ready to spend moneyonquality and style without showing it on their sleeves,” saysMsCheung.

  In its own way, Vogue China is a testament to Chinas appetiteforall things luxury. When it was launched last year, publisherCondéNast was bracing itself for a few years of losses. But MsCheungsays the magazine made a profit in its first year.

  (实习编辑:顾萍)

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