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Chinese tourists buying luxury watches show the way for exporters

Chinese tourists buying luxury watches show the way for exporters 瑞士手表仍依赖中国人.jpg

Talk of a slowdown in Chinese luxury consumption has been well documented. On the face of it, exports of Swiss watches to China have fallen significantly in recent years. But while the figures are technically accurate, there is mounting evidence that they tell only one side of the story.        

对中国奢侈品消费增长放缓的报道屡见不鲜。表面看来,最近几年瑞士手表对华出口大幅减少。然而尽管这些数据理论上是准确的,越来越多的证据表明,它们只揭示了故事的一个侧面。
     
When the Fédération de l’Industrie Horlogère Suisse (FH) published its annual report detailing world distribution of Swiss watches in 2013, it confirmed that exports to China were down 12.5 per cent on 2012. But closer analysis of the figures – and the results of a new report into Chinese interest in luxury watches – suggests China is still driving watch industry growth and will continue to lead the way for years to come.    

瑞士钟表工业联合会在其发布的年度报告中提供了2013年瑞士手表在全世界的分布细节。该报告确认,2012年瑞士手表对华出口减少了12.5%。不过,进一步分析以上数据(以及一份关于中国人对豪华手表兴趣的新报告),就会发现中国仍在推动手表工业的增长,并将在今后几年继续引领这一产业的发展。
     
Analysts say exports to mainland China have decreased because Chinese consumers are more aware that domestic prices are pushed sky-high by VAT, import duties and China’s 20 per cent consumption tax on watches costing more than Y10,000 ($1,600). Another reason is that the Chinese are travelling more, visiting countries where watches are considerably cheaper.    

分析人士表示,对中国内地的手表出口减少,是因为越来越多的中国消费者认识到:对手表来说,增值税、进口关税以及中国征收的20%的消费税合计逾1万元人民币(合1600美元),这把进口手表的价格推到了高不可攀的地步。至于另一个原因,则是因为中国人越来越多地去那些手表售价低廉得多的国家旅游。
     
According to research published in BusinessWeek in January, Chinese outbound tourists made 97m overseas trips in 2013, up from 83m in 2012. The number of passport holders is also rising rapidly. A report published in China Youth Daily last month indicates buying luxury products is “one of the major reasons” Chinese nationals travel abroad.    

根据1月份在《商业周刊》发表的一份研究报告,2013年中国出境旅游达9700万人次,比2012年的8300万人次大大增加。此外,中国持有护照的人数也在迅速增加。上个月《中国青年报》发表的一份报告显示,购买奢侈品是中国公民赴海外旅游的“一大主要原因”。
     
“You used to be able to sell in China because people didn’t know there was such a price gap,” says Erwan Rambourg, HSBC’s Hong Kong-based global co-head of consumer and retail research.    

汇丰银行派驻香港的消费与零售研究全球联席主管埃尔文·朗堡表示:“这些奢侈品过去在中国能卖得出去,是因为人们不知道其中的价格差距如此之大。”
     
“Now, you’ll find it very difficult to find a single Chinese consumer who doesn’t know that they should not be buying local, but buying while they’re travelling.”  

 “如今,那种不知道奢侈品不该在国内买而该出国买的中国消费者可谓凤毛麟角。”
     
While exports of Swiss watches to China have gone down, exports to destinations popular with Chinese tourists have risen steeply.    

尽管瑞士手表对华出口量出现了下滑,但对中国游客常去的国家和地区的出口量却急剧增长。
     
The FH’s report shows exports to the US up 12.8 per cent over the past two years, with the UK increase at 44.5 per cent. Exports to South Korea, considered an upmarket destination for sophisticated Chinese travellers, were up 35.6 per cent over the same period.    

FH的报告表明,过去两年瑞士手表对美国的出口量增长了12.8%,对英国出口量增长了44.5%。至于被精明的中国游客视为高档次旅游目的地的韩国,同一时期内瑞士手表的出口量增长了35.6%。
     
“People assume luxury equals China, but it doesn’t – luxury equals Chinese,” says Mr Rambourg. “China accounts for 8-10 per cent of sales through the luxury sector, whereas Chinese account for around 35 per cent.”    

郎堡表示:“人们想当然地在奢侈与中国间划了等号,然而事实并非如此—与奢侈对等的应该是中国人。在奢侈品产业的销售额中,源自中国的销售额占了8%到10%,而源自中国人的销售额则占了大约35%。”
     
The World Watch Report 2014, published yesterday by the Geneva-based strategy and research company Digital Luxury Group (DLG), backs up suggestions that Chinese appetite for luxury watches is rising sharply. The report indicates that 23 per cent of all global searches for luxury watches last year originated in China, an increase of 59 per cent over 2013 and more than in any other territory.    

中国人对豪华手表的兴趣正急剧增加,这一观点在数字化奢侈品集团近日发表的《2014年全球腕表报告》中也得到印证。DLG是一家总部驻日内瓦的战略与研究公司。该报告指出,去年全球对豪华手表的搜索中有23%来自中国,这一比例比其他任何国家都高,比2013年的数据高了59%。
     
The report also shows a rise in interest of 145 per cent in the ladies’ watch category, and that Chineselanguage internet search provider Baidu (which took part in the report) recorded 8.4bn daily search requests for luxury watches in China in 2013.    

该报告还显示中国对女式手表的兴趣增长了145%。另外,根据百度的统计,2013年中国每天对豪华手表的搜索请求次数为84亿次。百度是一家中文互联网搜索服务供应商,该公司也参与了这一报告的撰写。
     
Based on these findings and assuming that crippling Chinese domestic taxes remain at today’s levels, some experts believe the current trend will continue.    

部分专家相信,根据上述发现,假定中国国内令人难以承受的税收保持在目前的水平不变,当前的趋势将会持续下去。
     
“We don’t think the main challenge will be developing the demand for luxury products in China, but boosting local consumption,” says Pablo Mauron, DLG’s general manager China. “That said, we remain optimistic for future growth because tier two and three cities are still largely unexploited [compared with China’s tier one cities – usually defined as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen], and because of the increasing number of Chinese luxury travellers.”    

DLG中国区总经理巴勃罗·莫龙表示:“我们认为最大的挑战不在于开发中国对奢侈品的需求,而在于提升中国国内的(奢侈品)消费。也就是说,我们对未来的增长依然乐观,这一方面是因为(与通常被定义为北上广深的一线城市相比,)二三线城市在很大程度上仍未得到开发利用,另一方面则是因为开展奢侈品采购之旅的中国游客正在不断增加。”
     
Others feel the disparity between exports and domestic interest may not be long-term. “As in all markets, there can be a lag effect between interest and acquisition or repeat purchase,” says Zahra Kassim-Lakha, Jaeger-Le- Coultre’s global head of strategy.    

还有人认为瑞士手表出口与中国国内购买欲之间的脱节可能不会持续很长时间。积家全球战略主管扎赫拉·卡西姆-拉卡表示:“和所有市场一样,购买欲与买入行为或再次购买的行为之间可能存在滞后效应。”
     
The drop in exports means some brands have overspent in China. Few seem concerned, though – part of their strategy is to drive awareness of products among the travelling elite. It appears to be working.    

对华出口的下跌意味着部分品牌在中国的开支过大。然而似乎没人为这一问题感到担忧—在出国旅游的上流人士中保持其产品知名度是他们经营战略的一部分。这种策略似乎是行之有效的。
     
“We have overspent in China,” says Jean-Marc Pontroué, chief executive of Roger Dubuis, the Geneva haute horlogerie brand. “Our communication budget in China is by far higher in ratio to sales compared to the rest of the world, because we believe we need to be exposing ourselves to the travellers who buy our products when they travel. We don’t consider China a territory, but at least 40 per cent of our standard business is addressed to Chinese.”    

日内瓦高端钟表品牌罗杰杜彼首席执行官让-马克·蓬特儒表示:“我们在中国存在超支现象。我们在中国的沟通预算与销售额之比远高于世界其他地区。这是因为我们相信,我们需要在游客面前保持曝光,这样他们旅游时就会购买我们的产品。我们认为中国还算不上一个营业区,不过我们至少40%的标准业务针对的目标是中国人。”
     
Another factor contributing to the decline in exports to China is the impact of President Xi Jinping’s campaign to curb corruption. The gifting of luxury watches in deals is believed to have been sharply reduced since the campaign was introduced in 2012.    

另一个推动对华出口下滑的因素是中国国家主席习近平的反腐运动所产生的影响。自2012年这一运动开展以来,在交易过程中把豪华手表作为礼物送人的现象已急剧减少。
     
“Watches at lower price points aren’t used for gifting”, says Mr Rambourg. “And if you look at the higherend brands, the risk you take if you offer those is that the person you’re offering them to might not know the brand.”    

朗堡表示:“价格较低的手表是不会被用于送礼的。如果你把视线转向较高端手表,这类手表作为礼物伴随的风险是:送礼的目标人物可能会对该品牌一无所知。”
     
Juan-Carlos Torres, chief executive of high-end watch brand Vacheron Constantin, confirms this. “We are not a brand used in the corruption business,” he says. “To understand our brand, you have to have a certain level of knowledge. Most of our Chinese customers are individuals, and if they are gifting, it is to a partner, not as part of a business or political transaction.”    

江诗丹顿首席执行官朱昂-卡洛斯·托雷斯肯定了这一说法。他说:“我们的品牌不是用于腐败的。要理解我们的品牌文化,必须有一定的知识水平。我们多数中国顾客都是个人消费者,他们就算是送礼也是送给朋友,而不是作为商业或政治交易的一部分。”
     
Mr Torres, whose brand has 15 boutiques and 12 further points of sale in China, says the global Chinese community accounts for more than 50 per cent of Vacheron Constantin’s sales. “There’s no slowdown worldwide of Chinese customers,” he says.    

托雷斯的品牌在中国拥有15个精品店和12个销售点,他表示源自全球华人圈的销售额占了全球销售额的一半以上。他说:“全球范围内不存在中国顾客人数增长放缓的现象。”
     
According to the World WatchReport, growth in interest in haute horlogerie brands was up 13.16 per cent year on year in China, higher than any other country. For Vacheron Constantin, the increase was 34.59 per cent. Much of this growth can be attributed to the explosion of mobile phones in China. Baidu reports that mobile searches for haute horlogerie brands in 2013 were up 120 per cent.    

根据《全球腕表报告》,中国对高档手表品牌的兴趣同比增长了13.16%,这一增幅超过了其他任何国家。其中江诗丹顿的增幅达到了34.59%。这一快速增长很大程度上要归功于移动手机在中国的爆炸式发展。根据百度的记录,2013年针对高档手表品牌的移动搜索增长了120%。
     
The report shows the most searched-for haute horlogerie brand on mobile was Patek Philippe. For Thierry Stern, the brand’s chief executive, this is cause for optimism. “There is a very strong interest in haute horlogerie coming from Chinese customers and it is the sign of future long-term market potential,” he says.   

该报告显示,移动端最常搜索的高档手表品牌是百达翡丽。对于该品牌首席执行官泰瑞·斯登来说,这一事实构成了值得乐观的理由。他说:“中国顾客存在对高档手表的强烈购买欲,这是未来长期市场潜力的征兆。”
     
DLG’s research suggests the luxury watch industry’s growing reliance on China – or rather Chinese consumers – may not be misjudged. CLSA, Asia’s leading independent brokerage and investment group, estimates that by 2020 Chinese will make 200m overseas trips a year, double the current figure. Luxury brands will be banking on it.    

DLG的研究说明,不可误判豪华手表行业对中国(更准确地说是中国消费者)越来越深的依赖性。据亚洲顶尖的独立经纪商及投资集团里昂证券的估计,到2020年中国境外旅游将达到每年2亿人次,比目前的数字翻了一番。对奢侈品品牌来说,这将是它们的希望所在。

2016-06-23

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