An expanding urban middle class and increasing fashion- and brand-consciousness amongst younger consumers, underpinned by the proliferation of social media information, are helping to drive demand in bags and luggage upmarket. Indeed, ownership of luxury products, including bags, is seen as a signifier of social status amongst younger Chinese consumers and this type of demand remains robust even in the face of more challenging economic conditions.
Domestic sales of luxury bags received a considerable boost in 2018 when the government cut import tariffs on a range of goods. A number of brands, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermes, reduced their prices in response to the lowering of the tariffs.
In May 2018, the China Leather Industry Association held a forum on the scientific protection and utilisation of animals and plants, and sustainable development in Beijing. The forum declared its aim to resist the abuse and over-use of animal and plant resources.
Luxury player, LVMH Fashion (Shanghai) Trading Co Ltd, remained the largest company in bags and luggage in 2018. The company offers a range of renowned brands, including Louis Vuitton, Céline and Loewe, which have developed high levels of consumer loyalty.
Early in 2019, a consortium led by Anta, the 21st largest player in bags and luggage and fourth largest in backpacks in China, completed the acquisition of Amer Sports, owner of a number of internationally renowned brands, including Wilson, Arc'teryx, Atomic and Salomon. The move forms part of Anta’s efforts to implement a strategy of “full consumer coverage, full channel coverage” and to develop a brand globalisation strategy.
Gucci (China) Trading Ltd was the most dynamic player in bags and luggage in China in 2018. Globally, the Gucci brand made significant moves to modernise its image and target millennial demand towards the end of the review period, developing a “new aesthetic” under creative director, Alessandro Michele.
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