Our Blog

26
Feb

It has been interesting to speak with executives of luxury brands and hear them reported in the media on the subject of their plans and expectations for 2013. The big names have come out in many cases to say that they will not open more stores this year but will redevelop the existing ones. The logic for doing this is clear; it’s about consolidation and delivering a better experience for ...

19
Feb

I have read many articles in the media bemoaning the slowing Chinese economic growth and similar performance figures for the luxury sector, and it appears to me that they are trying to make 8% growth sound like a very poor performance and a disaster for all concerned. Lets face it, if the country achieves 8%, it has done well, and if the luxury sector continues to grow at a high ...

14
Feb

During Chinese New Year, there are usually two choices for non-Chinese residents; stay at home and avoid the masses travelling around the country, or leave China and go somewhere else in the world for a week. This year I chose the former. It has been interesting to see the mood of the populous and to watch them in and around the stores. My impression has been that everyone appears very happy. ...

08
Feb

Earlier this week the Chinese TV watchdog ordered all radio and TV channels to cut advertisements suggesting ‘gift giving’, in response to new rules set by the leadership in particular for officials to lead a more restrained lifestyle. The request was particularly aimed at those channels promoting items such as  ‘luxury’ watches, stamps and gold coins. There are of course more common items such as food and drink that are ...

07
Feb

In 1989 when I made my first trip to China, I got off a plane in a country that was just ‘waking up’. Money was being spent to put in infrastructure, and build factories, but people on the whole lead a very simple and by western standards basic life. It was a time when there were bicycles everywhere and relatively few cars. At the time, I can recall people talking of ...

04
Feb

The announcement by Bernard Arnault last week that LV will slow down its global store expansion, should be no surprise to any of us, especially those based in China. The brand established its name here as ‘the’ luxury brand many years ago, and has lived off this ever since. But nothing lasts forever. Unfortunately the market in China moves forward at a very high pace, new players come in and consumers ...

28
Jan

There are a number of cultural reasons and a great deal of history behind the Chinese focus on the individual, much of which revolves around the past 50 years, and some going back much longer. However, by understanding this culture, luxury brands can develop strategies that play towards, and not against it. By example, although not directly related to luxury, Chinese football (soccer), like many other team sports in China ...

24
Jan

As the tail of the dragon disappears over the horizon and the first signs of the snake begin to make its presence known, speculation rises as to whether the coming year, and in particular Chinese luxury consumption will again sustain sales and buoy the fortunes of luxury brands globally. As we had already predicted in November and others are now saying, the Chinese New Year and the party congress that follows ...

22
Jan

We might all assume that as a 7 star hotel the Burj Al Arab might not feel that it needed to target any one-consumer group because of its status and fame. However, it appears that even the mighty Burj will work hard for the Chinese. It recently announced that to celebrate Chinese New Year, it would offer authentic Chinese dining, and music, and will light up its exterior with Chinese ...

21
Jan

Adapt or die

Over recent weeks, we have seen the China phenomenon impact luxury sales around the world. Like a plague of locusts, Chinese shoppers buzz into town and quickly buzz out again, taking a trail of expensive purchases with them. And like all humans, they will learn from this experience and as a result change the way they do things the next time round. This holiday period may have seen many buy the ...

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