LVMH, Richemont and Kering are the world’s top three luxury groups, which in total control more than half of the global market for luxury items. The rest of the market is occupied by major listed companies, such as Prada, Hermès and Coco Chanel, which have each reported annual sales of €3 billion euros.

These first-tier luxury makers all target China as a fast rising market for future growth, and they are expected to expand their presence in the Asia-Pacific region in the next three to five years, according to predictions by research institutes.

Management consulting company A T Kearney’s Shanghai office found that brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci earn more than 30% of their revenues from Chinese customers.

Chinese travellers who venture abroad will notice that many luxury boutiques have started to accept China UnionPay credit cards, and now employ sales assistants who are fluent in Mandarin.

Thanks to the Chinese craze for luxury goods, LVMH’s market value reached RMB604.9 billion (US$99.2 billion) in late September, even higher than China’s leading petro-chemical company Sinopec, which had a value of RMB514.1 billion. Other top luxury makers also reportedly beat leading Chinese companies in the banking and power generation sectors.

Source: ECNS