Hermes Opens Store in Harbin

on June 22 2010 | in Fashion Retail Store Openings | by | with 3 Comments


Knowing that Shanghai and Beijing only house a small fraction of wealthy Chinese, luxury companies are gradually moving to lower tier cities, some of which have long been out of China’s fashion industry.

Harbin, the capital of Hei Long Jiang province located at the tip of northeast China, is the latest example. For years, foreign brands were hard to be spotted in the city and local fashionistas even have to go to forums to ask where to buy high street fashion brands such as Izzue.

But now, it is no longer the scene.

On June 18, Hermes opened a store in the downtown shopping mall Mai Kai Le, showing the local rich the latest design from Paris. Its neighbors include Louis Vuitton and Amarni, both of which came to the city after Mai Kai Le’s opening in mid 2009. Upcoming retailers will include Dior, Gucci and Versace, according to the shopping mall.

As a former fashion hub back in the 1920’s, Harbin was heavily influenced by Russia due to its location, which earned it a nickname – “Little Moscow”.

After 1949, the city started to focus on developing heavy industries, such as transportation, aircrafts and power plants. Only in recent years has the local government accelerated the urbanization of the city, trying to reproduce its former glamour.




photo credit : hermes, lin yang (wikipedia)

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3 Responses to Hermes Opens Store in Harbin

  1. Jing Daily says:

    Expansion to second and third tier cities is an obvious way to expand into the Chinese Market, but foreign luxury brands are noticing now that they can’t simply expect the Chinese luxury consumer to buy their products based on price alone, though.

    I think Hermes is leading a more concerted localization effort in their purchase of the local brand Shang Xia, which we should carefully watch over the next several years as big brands will have to compete not only with other major foreign brands but also with emerging Asian and Chinese luxury brands that might resonate more with a more sophisticated luxury consumer.

    • Red Luxury says:

      You’re absolutely correct! Foreign luxury companies can no longer expect their presence to sell their products for them. The competitive climate will ramp up quickly and they need to consider a multi-pronged, cohesive strategy for an increasingly sophisticated Chinese luxury market.

  2. Ben Jacobson says:

    Actually there seems to be an error in this article, Hermes opened in Mykal not “Mai Kai Le .” Luxury is about the details, please be more careful in the future.

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