Jahee Jung

Luxury fashion in China

Professor presents research on luxury brands at international conference

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10:35 a.m., April 7, 2011--Chinese consumers are more willing than their American counterparts to buy luxury goods. And yet, explains Jaehee Jung, associate professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, the demand for online shopping of luxury products in the China — a country in which nearly one out of every three Internet users shops online — is virtually nonexistent.

This paradox was the topic of a presentation Jung delivered earlier this week at the 7th Global Brand Conference of the Academy of Marketing Brand from April 5-7 at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

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To understand the preference for bricks-and-mortar stores over virtual ones, Jung, an expert in the psychology of consumer behavior, looked first to the culture of the land.

“China is a group-oriented and Confucian-based culture where personal interaction has been a long tradition,” she said. “For products that consumers have to pay premium prices, the interaction between the customer and the sales associates can be a symbol of social status.” 

She added that the Chinese culture also provides an “ideal environment for the top-down relationship” between luxury brands and consumers, as such brands cater to customers who “seek ostentatious consumption” as a reflection of their social status.

Article by Artika Rangan

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