Retailers in China, the world's hottest consumer market, face some pretty big obstacles in succeeding there. The country's demographics are changing rapidly, and businesses have to figure out how to appeal to customers.
There are two classes of consumers in China--mainstream young people who are picky about designers and brands, and the emerging middle class which is just looking to upgrade on basic needs.
In order to succeed, businesses have to impress both groups, according to a story by Debra Bruno in Women's Wear Daily. Bruno's story drew from a recent McKinsey report on China.
"There's a growing divide" between the more affluent consumers and the middle-class ones, according to Bruno. "Companies have a double-edged challenge."
" They have to figure out ways to reach both traditional and these new mainstream customers, which means they'll need 'more diverse portfolios of brands and niche products,' including items that are highly functional as well as those that appeal to consumer's emotions," Bruno writes.
This means offering both basics, like blue jeans, and more extravagant items like accessories.
China's emerging middle class is made up of hundreds of millions of people and is rapidly changing the market there.
Taking the changing Chinese demographic into consideration is important for any international business' success.
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