This week in the news, Shanghai has a long history with coffee, Shanghai La Chapelle unveils a new “elegant, classic, and romantic” brand image, Samsonite moves down-market in China, and Dickson will no longer sell Brooks Brothers in Asia.
International coffee chains are realizing the potential of the Chinese market, and are expanding rapidly in the country. But in Shanghai, coffee has been popular since the founding of the People’s Republic. At Deda cafe and restaurant, a large group of elderly Chinese regulars line up outside every morning to carry on the coffee-drinking tradition of Shanghai’s bourgeoisie past. Before the cultural revolution of 1966, coffee was popular among China’s middle class. Known as “Paris of the East,” Shanghai attracted adventurers and businessmen from the United States, United Kingdom, and France, among others, and they brought with them their coffee drinking habits.
Shanghai La Chapelle Fashion, the multi-brand retailer with 6,887 stores across greater China, has rebranded itself with an “elegant, classic, and romantic” new image. The company unveiled a new logo inspired by French architecture, a motif that will influence the brand’s in-store design and product branding. Along with the rebrand, La Chapelle is introducing new brands and product lines in womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, and accessories. The company currently has eight brands: La Chapelle, La Chapelle Sport, 7.Modifier, Candie’s, La Babite, La Chapelle Homme, Pote, and La Chapelle Kids.
Samsonite has begun promoting its less expensive products in China to attract middle-class Chinese customers. In addition to placing mid-priced items in store windows, Samsonite will train its employees to promote its mid-market products. Samsonite has taken a hit in the Chinese market due to its decreasing reliance on department stores for sales, as the luxury crackdown has made customers more hesitant to make high-end purchases in such an environment. Three years ago, department stores accounted for approximately two-thirds of the company’s sales in China. This year, that figure may be as low as one-third of China sales.
Hong Kong apparel retailer Dickson Concepts announced that it will not renew its license to sell the Brooks Brothers brand in Asia. Dickson entered into an exclusive franchise agreement with Brooks Brothers in the late 1990s and the license will expire on December 31. Brooks Brothers will buy back the assets and pay for an amount for goodwill. Brooks Brothers has global ambitions, but it has had a rocky time with international markets.
image credit: brooks brothers