celebrating women (who like to shop)

Happy Women’s Day!

I got an email yesterday evening announcing that all women employees get a half day today in honor of International Women’s Day. So we got to leave the office at lunchtime and got all sorts of treats, including free movie tickets and flowers. The husband and I decided to spend the afternoon in the city with a friend. Before we left, though, our Chinese friends warned us that it would be very crowded downtown — retailers are having all sorts of fun sales in celebration of Women’s Day.

I guess that makes sense. I just found this interesting article about how retailers are using this holiday to target women, who are contributors to the “great Chinese consumption power.” Chinese women have a higher willingness to pay for their favorite items compared to men, and they are spending more on “better life quality,” such as luxury goods and travel. Chinese women are gaining more financial independence, and social changes have made them more “ambitious” about consumption, apparently. Very very interesting.

But the most interesting factoid I learned from this article is this: “While traditionally, Chinese men have been regarded as the primary consumers of luxury goods, in large part because of the custom of giving gifts to business partners and government officials, Chinese women are now catching up in luxury consumption. They contribute over 50 percent to this market segment today, compared to the 20 percent contribution a decade ago.

So that means a decade ago, 80% of luxury goods were consumed by men! My mind is blown!

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