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Chinese Shoppers In South Korea Seek Less Expensive Items, Prefer Buying Local Labels

By February 8, 2016 at 11:30 am
Chinese Shoppers In South Korea Seek Less Expensive Items, Prefer Buying Local Labels (Photo : ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images News)

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - Chinese shoppers who are in South Korea are seeking for less expensive items as they prefer buying local and homegrown labels instead of luxury brands like Cartier, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

According to Reuters, these Chinese shoppers are young travelers who compose a bigger percentage of tourists in South Korea. They are mostly influenced by the Korean Wave or the country's popular culture, such as cosmetic products, fashion and food. They have become price-conscious as they spend on items that are authentic, but are not costly.

Based on a data by HSBC, the average selling prices of these worldwide luxury brands in mainland China are more expensive than in South Korea, driving Chinese shoppers to purchase items in Korea. However, they are still more expensive in Dubai, Singapore and Europe.

In 2015, cosmetic products like Whoo of LG Household & Healthcare and Sulwhasoo of Amorepacific have become top-selling labels at central Seoul's duty free shops, which are managed by Lotte Duty Free and Samsung Group's Hotel Shilla. They overtook the product sales of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Richemont's Cartier, according to the store data.

"This doesn't necessarily imply that luxury retailers have to launch cheaper stuff but it does necessarily imply that they have to be more relevant at every price point," said analyst Erwan Rambourg of HSBC in Hong Kong.

Furthermore, South Korea only comes after Thailand when it comes to international destinations for Chinese travelers whose extravagant spending has pushed the former to become the largest duty free shopping market in the world, South China Morning Post reports.

Due to the preference of local brands by Chinese shoppers, it will instill further pressure on retailers of global luxury brand merchandises to lessen the prices for the consumers.

"You can buy those big brands everywhere, and it is actually cheaper to buy those brands in other countries compared to the prices in South Korea," said Zhu Xin, a 21-year-old Chinese shopper who was found buying items at the Stylenanda store in Hongdae, South Korea. "Now that we are here, we should buy local brands."

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