Many a teenage girl heads straight to the kitchen for her first facial, but an egg white mask is no longer cuts it for the fast-growing ranks of wealthy mainlanders who are splashing out on high-end cosmetics from France, Japan and South Korea.
Analysts believe mainlanders’ spending on cosmetics sales at home and abroad will double in a few years to 700 billion yuan (HK$887 billion). But the traditional favourite haunt of mainland shoppers – Hong Kong – will be increasingly bypassed for retailers overseas and online vendors, which analysts see as the main beneficiaries of the projected spending boom. Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei are shaping up as the city’s key rivals.
David Lung, managing partner of Deloitte China’s consumer business industry, said the sector had been expanding rapidly, as spending on beauty and skincare products has lagged the levels seen in overseas markets, and outlays will rise in line with growing wealth.
“According to the iResearch data, China’s cosmetics sector recorded retail sales of 333.86 billion yuan in 2013, and this is estimated to exceed 700 billion yuan in 2017,” Lung said.
“In 2012, per capita consumption on cosmetics in the US, Japan and Korea was 15, 9 and 7 times higher, respectively, than that of China. Based on the consumption scale, the proportion of per capita cosmetic spending in the value of total consumption is less than 0.8 per cent in China, which is lower than that for clothing, computers, communication and consumer electronic and others.”
Mainland tourists are believed to have spent HK$170 billion in Hong Kong in 2013, according to a Legislative Council paper. Cosmetics, skincare products, clothing, food, medicine and Chinese herbal medicine topped their shopping lists, a survey from the Hong Kong Tourism Board found.
Mainland visitors have thronged the aisles at Sa Sa and Bonjour outlets over recent years. But the share prices of the beauty product retailers have been hit hard by a drop in the number of cross-border shoppers. The number of such visits in March dropped 10 per cent year on year to 3.24 million, the first decline since February 2011, according to HKTB data released on Friday.
Read more at South China Morning Post.