The important Chinese New Year spending patterns

New Year is a time of celebration, and in China this means not only a renewed vigour of personal spending, on luxury items, travel, or other treats, but also a time of generosity towards friends and family. These attitudes and traditions combined make Chinese New Year one of the most lucrative times for all kinds of businesses. In 2013 New Year sales figures rose to £55billion in the China market, with sales of items such as jewellery rising by 38.1% and clothes by 6.1% (source: International Business Times). While consumers in the UK may be focused on Christmas, businesses that want to make the most of Chinese New Year need to start planning their campaigns and strategies as soon as possible. We’ve put together a quick look at some Chinese spending habits during New Year to help you get started.

Jewellery sales during Chinese New Year

For many the perfect gift, sales of jewellery in China between the New Year period in 2014 rose by 38.1% (source: International Business Times). As well as typical jewellery pieces, and New Year themed items, there was also a general rise in the sale of precious metals. Caibai, a leading jewellery retailer in Beijing, reported a 57.6% rise in sales, which included gold and silver as well as jewellery items. The Chinese like to buy jewellery, as well as New Year themed gold bars, as presents for themselves or others, in the hope that they will increase in value, therefore making them an investment, rather than a passing trinket (source: Bullion Street). Convincing Chinese shoppers of the potential for your jewellery and metal products to increase in value, is a good way to inspire confidence among New Year customers.

Chinese New Year travel

For many Chinese, New Year is a time to be spent with friends and family. During the Spring Festival period, into which New Year falls, over 1billion Chinese people travel to spend time with relatives and friends. But it is not just visits home that make Chinese roads, airports and seaports so busy during the Lunar New Year. Plenty of Chinese people take advantage of the time off to go travelling. Shanghai alone saw 64,000 people travel abroad in 2012, an increase of 11.6% on the previous year (Source: 2014 saw a total of 4.5million estimated overseas travellers, a record level at 12.5% higher than 2013 (Source: GB Times).

Spring Festival luxury goods sales in the China market

We already know that Chinese travellers are big spenders when abroad. During the New Year period, even more so. In 2012 Chinese travellers spent $7.2billion on luxury goods abroad. Their spending alone accounted for more than 62% of the luxury sales in Europe. As the Chinese people acquire a taste for luxury goods and enjoy increased levels of disposable income, they are becoming a powerful spending force, already accounting for the largest market in luxury goods in the world.

Are you considering marketing to China for the Spring Festival period? Let us know below!

(Image source: “New Year Bag” |