Live here, buy overseas? Chinese luxury fashion buyers

Canie K. Y. Chu-Lo, Suzan Burton, Regan Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


This study investigates Chinese luxury fashion buyers, the world’s largest spenders on luxury, and how they make their purchase decisions, using 32 in-depth interviews with experienced buyers. The data were analysed with thematic analysis. Interviewees rarely bought luxury fashion goods in China, nor browsed in stores in China. Many never buy luxury fashion products themselves, but instead "commission” their friends or family to buy for them outside China, in a role akin to an amateur buying agent. This frequent use of another for purchases raises questions about the role of luxury fashion stores in China, which for many consumers apparently promote the brand, but are unimportant for distribution. The study extends existing literature in two ways, first by revealing the pre-eminent role of an amateur buying agent in this market, and secondly, by identifying that luxury fashion stores in China may be more important for promotion than distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalANZMAC 2015 : Innovation and growth strategies in marketing : conference proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventAustralian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference (2015) - Sydney
Duration: 30 Nov 20152 Dec 2015


  • luxury fashion
  • China
  • buying agent
  • distribution
  • commissioned purchase


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