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Knowing how much Chinese consumers love designer goods, Western luxury brand sellers are aggressively targeting mainland students in the United States.
Nearly a third of of wealthy parents in China send their children to the United States for primary school or college, according to the Hurun Report. Luxury retailers know this means frequent visits from high net-worth friends and family who will go shopping while visiting to avoid taxes and counterfeit goods, reports Reuters.
The Los Angeles Beverly Centre mall, for instance, sends buses to the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Southern California at the beginning of the year, when students are dropped off by their parents, and at graduation to pick up Chinese families. Their successful marketing plan includes sponsoring Chinese student groups with a collective total of around 45,000 members.
Another example: Italian luxury fashion brand Prada brought Chinese students into their New York stores by offering them vouchers for leather luggage tags worth $200.
British handbag label Mulberry Group had exclusive private sales complete with cocktails and desserts for Chinese art school students at their Manhattan store. The first 100 buyers were also invited to a launch party for model Cara Delevingne’s collaboration line with the brand.
Chinese shoppers spend over $84 billion a year on personal luxury goods, making up 31% of the $273 billion global market, according to Bain and Co. The United States is the top market outside of Asia for Chinese luxury goods consumers.
Popular luxury brands for Chinese student shoppers in New York include Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Tory Burch, Fendi, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, according to Reuters.