Several Swiss luxury watchmakers have reported a decline in spending by Chinese tourists, while expectations that market demand will shift to Mainland China this year remain high.
A third of all luxury spending worldwide is Chinese, although recent government measures have resulted in more shoppers doing their heavy-duty spending at home.
The analysis has been connected to a drop in share prices this week among luxury firms leaning on the Chinese tourist dollar.
Richemont Group has reported double-digit growth in Mainland China sales in the December quarter, noting that sales growth in Hong Kong had slowed, primarily due to the strength of the Hong Kong dollar versus the renminbi that resulted in lower tourist spending.
Luxury watchmaker Parmigiani has stated its position that this is a good time to invest in China, with CEO Davide Traxler commenting: “People are travelling less, but consuming more domestically so it is the right moment for us to strengthen our local presence [in China]”, adding that the label is “10 years late”.
Swiss label H Moser & Cie’s CEO Edouard Meylan added: “We had growth everywhere last year, except for Greater China where we saw a dip in demand due to the trade war in October and November … With the shutdown [in the US], the trade war and Brexit, there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment”.