Chinese visitors are driving luxury goods sales, says industry report

Luxury goods are mostly sold in Madrid and Barcelona.
Luxury goods are mostly sold in Madrid and Barcelona. / Reuters
  • The analysis by Spanish trade association, Círculo Fortuny, predicts a doubling of top-end demand by 2025, mostly from foreign tourists

Sales of top-brand goods, expensive cars and high-end fashion and jewellery rose last year, according to data just released. The luxury goods market in Spain sold 9.2 billion euros in 2017, a 9% increase on a year earlier and almost double the 5% increase worldwide.

The increase is being explained on a surge in foreign tourists visiting the country specifically for cultural or retail tourism and especially the Chinese. Around 80% of purchases of these types of goods in Spain was down to visitors from other countries, says the survey, and over a third of this amount was made up of tourists from China.

At the moment, only 4% of Chinese visitors to Europe come to Spain, according to the analysis from Círculo Fortuny, an association of providers of luxury goods and services. The Chinese market is therefore viewed as having huge potential for the future, it says.

Strong start in 2018

Círculo Fortuny also reported that in the first three months of this year the luxury market grew between 2% and 4%, depending on the type of product. The profile of purchaser is also getting younger.

The association is predicting that the luxury goods and services sector in Spain will be worth 21 billion euros by 2025, more than doubling. National consumers will continue making up just 15-20%, with their interest focused on beauty products and jewellery. Some 80% of luxury sales are in Madrid and Barcelona, the data reveals.

A further study by consultants EY, also published this week, shows that the luxury and cosmetic industry sold 435 billion euros in 2017, with China and other emerging markets driving increased demand.