19 April 2019
HENRYs prefer niche labels to overexposed luxury brands. Photo: Bloomberg
HENRYs prefer niche labels to overexposed luxury brands. Photo: Bloomberg

Move over, super rich – HENRYs are China’s new big spenders

Global luxury brands expanding in China are better off targeting the HENRYs – “high earners, not rich yet” – instead of the ultra wealthy, Reuters said in a report.

Slowing economic growth and a government campaign against excess and corruption have made less showy spending the new normal.

HENRYs believe less is more.

These younger spenders pride themselves on their individualism and snub the ostentatiously branded handbags and accessories loved by the “secretary” types, the report said.

Fueling their shopping habits are social media, multibrand retail websites such as Beijing-based and Italy’s Yoox, eclectic boutiques and high-end department stores like Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford and France’s venerable Galeries Lafayette.

Chinese customers aged 25-35 are Yoox’s top spenders, the report quoted the e-tailer’s international markets director Luca Martines as saying. He said they are willing to mix niche labels with big brands.

Labels considered niche such as Celine and 3.1 Phillip Lim are among the “hottest” sectors, a report last week by online luxury magazine Jing Daily said, citing branding and marketing experts.

Affordable labels like Tory Burch, Longines and Michael Kors are also in demand, while pricier, more conventional labels including Cartier, Louis Vuitton and Gucci have been hit by a “cold front”, the Jing Daily report said.

“The Chinese consumer is now more educated and less conformist, which means they are less inclined to look like a secretary and go for luxury brands that are overdeveloped,” said Lionel Roudaut, head of fashion design and textile at Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts.

“The internet has also given them access to products not available before.”

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