Women in China’s major cities spend 63 percent of their income on consumer goods ranging from clothes to cosmetics in 2009, up from 55 percent in 2006 according to a new survey by the Women of China magazine.
Polling 1,074 women in 10 big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the survey found most of their spending went to clothes while spending on cosmetics, personal-care products, traveling and electronics also grew rapidly. They spent an average of 21,900 yuan ($3,220) on consumer goods last year.
What are these urban women planning to buy in 2010? About 63% indicated clothes and accessories, 76% travel, 41% cosmetics and 22% cell phones.
What’s driving this spending pattern among urban Chinese women?
The top reason being the earnings power of women have increased and they want to spend more money to improve their lives according to Han Xianjing, head of Women of China magazine. Increase in online shopping has also contributed to the growing consumption.
For example, Lei Ying, a 26-year-old Beijing woman said she spends 30 percent of her salary on shoes, clothes and accessories every month. “I have decided to spend more to ensure my living quality,” Lei said.
Interestingly, almost “37 percent said they would not change their buying habits due to the fluctuating economic environment, and 6.8 percent said they should buy more to resist inflation.”
The consumption of women is important for growth in domestic demand. “Women are the decision makers of their family’s consumption. And they set the trends in fashion as well,” said Huang Qingyi, former vice-president of the All-China Women’s Federation.
In 2009, China’s total retail sales of consumer goods was 12.53 trillion yuan, up 16 percent year-over-year based on reports from the Ministry of Commerce.
photo credit: ernop