Until now, it reports, Chinese consumers' tastes have mostly been shaped by department stores, with men and women spending roughly the same on clothing. There's also been a heavy leaning toward sportswear. (Sporty duds comprise about 25% of the typical Chinese person's wardrobe, and even though they don't exercise much, 30% of those who own sportswear say they wear it at least three times a week.)
Fueling the growth, it reports, is the rapid increase in middle to affluent class shoppers, with the number of households earning $11,400 a year or more expected to jump from 50 million in 2010 to 140 million by 2020.
But as Chinese shoppers have become more fashion-conscious, they are increasingly open to different brands, products and retail experiences. While such brands as Nike and Adidas already have a strong presence, with roughly 6,000 Chinese stores each, many key chains have far fewer, and some, including J. Crew, Ann Taylor and Topshop, have yet to open a single Chinese store.