This week in the news, Swarovski has made over Galeries Lafayette Beijing for its Sparkling Christmas campaign, French children’s wear brand Petit Bateau will open three stores in China, multi-channel shoppers will make up nearly half of Chinese urban consumers, Hermès remains successful in China despite the luxury slowdown, and Pradasphere is taking over Hong Kong’s Pier 4.
Galeries Lafayette’s Beijing flagship store has been remade into a “crystal palace” for Swarovksi’s Sparkling Christmas campaign, featuring exclusive collections by local designers, a pop-up shop, window displays, and 45 exhibit pieces and works of art created especially for the show. Swarovski has decorated the Galeries Lafayette facade with LED lights, and the brand’s window displays feature crystal-themed monsters constructed out of lights, feathers, and geometric shapes. Galeries Lafayette held a high-profile launch party for the campaign on November 14. Customers who purchased a Swarovski item between November 14 and 16 were also entered into a drawing. Among the prizes are a business card holder, crystal pendants, and fine watches from Swarovski.
Top international brands are eager to establish a foothold in China’s luxury children’s wear market. French children’s clothing brand Petit Bateau is the latest to enter the Mainland China market. Its first three stores, which are expected to open in 2015, will be located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Qingdao. China’s children’s wear market is promising not only for its size – around 16.4 million children were born in China in 2013. Although those under the age of 15 make up only about 17.4% of the population, the total numbers are still staggering: 226.2 million. The market is also promising because Chinese families are very willing to spend on kid’s items. Urban families devote nearly 30% of their spending to items for their children.
Urban multi-channel shoppers and the emerging Chinese middle class are powering China’s e-commerce boom that is expected to rise from CNY 1.84 trillion (US$303.3 billion) to CNY 4 trillion ($652.9 billion) in 2016-2017. A new study, The State of E-Commerce in China, published by Econsultancy, sheds light on the behavior of these Chinese online shoppers. The consulting firm predicts that multi-channel shoppers will soon make up nearly half of China’s urban consumers. Taking into consideration that one in seven Chinese consumers turn to the internet for a purchase every day, and more than 60 percent shop weekly, the opportunities for both local and international brands in China are staggering.
While other luxury companies’ sales are falling flat, Hermès is doing as well as ever, having announced that sales in Asia (excluding Japan) were up 17 percent in the first half of 2014. As many of these luxury companies slowdown their expansion in China, Hermès is once again bucking the trend. In September, the company opened its first maison in Mainland China, a Shanghai maison. The company’s secret to success in China is that “Hermès represents what China aspires to be: not just another nouveau riche nation with more money than taste, but a country of sophisticated affluence and understated extravagance.” The company is not just paying lip service to the Chinese market. Four years ago, the company founded its own Chinese luxury brand, Shang Xia.
Covering the entire roof of Hong Kong’s Central Ferry Pier 4, Pradasphere Hong Kong will reside in a custom-built space with a VIP lounge overlooking the harbor. Prada will exhibit more than 60 looks from its past three decades along with archival materials samples, shoes, handbags, rare artifacts, and literary publications. A multimedia timeline of pictures and videos will display the brand’s past fashion shows, campaigns, and special projects from interior design to films by Wes Anderson, Roman Polanski, and Ridley Scott. Pradasphere debuted in London earlier this year with a Prada-hosted takeover of Harrods, which featured displays from the company’s 100 year history, a pop-up shop, and the Marchesi Cafe, which was modeled after a Milan patisserie from 1824.
image source: just style magazine