Claudia D’Arpizio, a partner at Bain and leader of its luxury practice, explained in an email that ongoing restrictions on international travel will also prompt Chinese consumers to make more of their purchases domestically. “This trend, coupled with a growing customer base fueled by the Chinese middle class, and specifically digital-native younger generations, will lead China to become the first market for luxury by 2025,” she said.

Currently more luxury shopping still happens in the US and Europe. Even Chinese shoppers still do most of their luxury buying abroad, where prices can be much lower. But a growing share have been shopping within China. The Chinese government has worked to bring spending home by cutting duties and cracking down on overseas agents called daigou who buy goods abroad and ship them to buyers in China. Fashion companies have also responded by lowering prices slightly in China.

Bain and Altagamma predict shopping within China will surge in the years ahead. By 2025, they foresee more purchases happening in China than in Europe and the US.

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