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Industry news digest: this month's round up

Catch up with the brand and markets news you might have missed this month: French winter sales show retail footfall is up in January, Burberry and Richemont report a halt in decline for Chinese mainland sales, and luxury brands need to shift from targeting Chinese consumers at home to thinking of them as global travellers.

News from Asia

  • There’s a new ‘sharing-economy’ mindset among Chinese millennials who are happy to own nothing, according to Bloomberg.
  • Chinese online giant Alibaba has its sights set on China’s rural consumers for this year’s Chinese New Year shopping festival. It is an underappreciated and easily overlooked demographic, says Bloomberg View.
  • Tourism investment in China is in rude health, according to China’s National Tourism Administration, which reported +42% year-on-year (YoY) growth in 2015 according to the news service Xinhuanet.
  • 2015 was a record-breaking year for outbound Chinese tourists, says travel market research specialist GfK, which reported that they reached 109 million last year, spending $229bn. South Korea and Thailand have overtaken Hong Kong as most popular destinations.
  • When it comes to Chinese luxury, ‘if you’re not online you’re a loser,’ reports industry blog Trendwalk in light of a recent report on Chinese online behaviour by KPMG.
  • Chinese consumers are likely to trim their spending in 2016, reports Channel News Asia. In a sign of weakening consumer confidence, they are expected to dine out less often, delay smartphone upgrades and cut out impulse buys.
  • Luxury retailers must understand the shift among Chinese consumers based on their nationality, rather than on a particular geographical location, as they become savvier overseas travellers, writes IB Times.
  • Japan has a new term for the influx of Chinese tourists snapping up luxury goods on overseas trips to the country. ‘Explosion buying’ by the Chinese became a Japanese buzzword in 2015, according to Jing Daily, when Chinese tourist spending increased threefold in the second quarter of the year.
  • As Alitrip launches in the US, China Luxury Advisors examines what a new generation of outbound Chinese travellers looks like.
  • Chinese mainland luxury sales are on the rebound, according to Q3 sales performance figures by Burberry and Richemont, reports Bloomberg.
  • Foreign brands need to figure out China all over again in light of WeChat’s increasing dominance, says AdAge.


News from Europe

  • 2015 was a year of extreme currency fluctuations, not least for the Swiss franc vs the euro. Swissinfo counts the cost of ‘Frankenshock’.
  • France’s January sales have brought out eager shoppers, reports Reuters.
  • France’s hoteliers and travel booking firms rallied in December to save the holiday tourism season, according to analysis by Mashable.


News from the UK

  • Launched on 11 January 2016, the UK has a new pilot scheme that will see Chinese visitors issued a two-year multiple-entry visa. China News says the UK’s sophisticated culture is a big pull for Chinese tourists.


News from the US

  • Apple is upping its luxury retail status with new store formats and luxury products, reports the New York Times.
  • American department stores need to reinvent themselves to avoid extinction, says Fortune Magazine.


News from Russia

  • The latest surge in oil prices is good news for Russia’s ruble, which saw its biggest gain in 13 months in January, reports Bloomberg.
  • Russia’s economic problems have moved from the acute to the chronic, according to an opinion piece in the Economist.


Global news

  • Global tourist arrivals were up +4.4% in 2015 as 50 million more people travelled overseas. The Moodie Report analyses new figures from the latest United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation World Tourism Barometer. 
  • Mounting instability in emerging market economies poses the biggest threat to the global luxury goods industry, suggests a report by Euromonitor.