One luxury retailer not fearful of a China slowdown, Longchamp has opened a new 4,300-square-feet megastore in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district. Jean Cassegrain, grandson of Longchamp’s founder, told AFP, “We have no intentions to slow down our expansion plans, especially in Asia. The purchasing power of Chinese consumers continue to increase and it is not going to change.”
Longchamp currently has seven stores in China and wants to increase to 40 to 50 stores, although there is no set timeline for openings. The challenge is to pick the right locations,” Cassegrain said. The brand saw turnover of $507 million last year, a 22 percent increase from 2010. With the economies of Longchamp’s European markets remaining “unfavorable,” the brand is optimistic that sales of the brand’s famous fold-up nylon and leather totes will be bolstered in China.
Earlier this month, Euromonitor projected that China will be the second largest luxury market in the world – just behind the United States – by 2017, overtaking France, Britain, Italy, and Japan. They also report that luxury sales worldwide could hit $302 billion, a 4 percent increase over 2011, thanks to demand in growing economies.
photo credit: longchamp