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Covid-19 is making the luxury industry even more dependent on Chinese shoppers

A management staff measures the body temperature of a woman entering a shopping mall near a Hermes store in Wuhan
Reuters/Aly Song
Even Covid-19 can't dull China's luxury appetite for long.
  • Marc Bain
By Marc Bain

Fashion reporter

Published Last updated on

If there’s one country luxury businesses can’t live without these days, it’s China. The importance of Chinese shoppers to the industry became plain when Covid-19 shut down much of China and its outbound travel in February. Without those customers, luxury companies saw their sales plummet.

The pandemic isn’t likely to halt luxury’s growing dependence on China either. On the contrary, it looks set to increase it.

Because of Covid-19, the luxury industry is bracing for its worst year in modern history. But while China’s luxury market has certainly suffered, it’s already on its way to recovery, according to a new report (pdf) by management consultancy Bain & Company and Altagamma, an association of Italian luxury firms.

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