Chinese buying more luxury goods at home: survey

Chinese shoppers are increasingly buying luxury goods in mainland China, turning away from high-end stores abroad and in Hong Kong, according to a survey.

The poll by market research firm Ipsos found that Chinese buyers preferred to shop on the mainland for luxury goods in five of its seven categories -- watches, cosmetics, clothes, shoes, and wines and cigars.

Last year, mainland Chinese preferred to buy top-end items at home in only three categories.

The semi-autonomous, southern Chinese city of Hong Kong remains their preferred destination only for jewellery and handbags, despite higher taxes on luxury goods on the mainland.

Louis Vuitton was the respondents' top luxury brand, named by 39 percent of them, followed by Chanel on 17 percent. Seven percent picked Gucci, Hermes had six percent and Christian Dior five percent.

A total of 1,135 people on mainland China with annual incomes higher than 100,000 yuan ($15,900) were questioned last month for the China Luxury Forecast, jointly carried out by Ipsos and PR firm Ruder Finn.

About 69 percent of luxury product buyers were under 35, while most purchases were intended for women, according to the survey.

"More men bought luxury products for their spouses, while more women bought for themselves," it said. "In short, women receive the luxury goods."

The poll also found that about 45 percent of respondents used social media, including China's wildly popular Twitter-like microblogging sites, to seek information on luxury products.

About 10 percent of luxury items were bought on the Internet, with the figure rising to 17 percent for cosmetics.

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