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Beijing: Fashion, but at a bargain price

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The predilection of affluent Chinese consumers for luxury Western products has been well recorded, with branded shops sprouting up in all major cities.

Now discount retail outlets are trying to cash in on the burgeoning business by targeting the rapidly rising number of middle class purchasers with an eye for a bargain as well as style.

Typical of the success story enjoyed by many top brands in China is the UK's 155-year-old Burberry Group plc, a luxury fashion house manufacturing clothing, fragrance and fashion accessories. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks.

Burberry's sales growth in China at branded stores, franchises and concessions rose a record 30 percent last year, exceeding all expectations.

This has not gone unnoticed by discount retailers. Outlets (China) Limited, backed by Beijing Capital Land Ltd and China Infrastructure Group Ltd, invested 17 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) in three malls in Beijing, Guangdong and Zhejiang last year.

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