‘Revenge Buying’ in China: BorderX Lab Sees Brisk Sales in Handbags and Shoes

The minute the lockdown ended in China, the first things Chinese customers scooped up were handbags and shoes, according to Nancy Zhang, head of partnerships in New York for BorderX Lab, the cross-border e-commerce platform for American and European merchants to reach global Chinese customers. They’re calling this “revenge buying,” making up for a lost two months by buying merchandise for themselves, she said. Prior to the lockdown ending, beauty, and in particular skin care, were the bestsellers on their mobile marketplace app called Beyond, which caters to 13 million Chinese consumers, mostly between ages 18 and the mid-30s, said Zhang. Back in February, there was a relative slowdown in China because the country was going into lockdown and quarantine. At that time, they saw a big shift in category demand. Beauty saw a 10 to 15 percent decline, while accessories and ready-to-wear, which had historically been one of its best-selling categories, “started to dive.” Wellness and beauty supplements had a 833 percent increase. “People in quarantine aren’t going out, and there was very little need for handbags and shoes,” she explained. As the beauty business began picking up, brands across the board performed. La Mer is the all-time best-selling brand on the platform,

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