Dunhill Set to Expand in China Travel Retail Market

Richemont-owned luxury brand Alfred Dunhill is primed for expansion in the Asia Pacific travel retail market, helped by a strong showing in online brand ranking tables following the recent 2020 spring/summer men’s fashion show season.

The Moodie Davitt Report is reliably informed that the luxury brand is gearing up for further development through the rebuilding of its travel retail team and expansion of its network in Asia. For example, by the end of this month, Dunhill will have opened a new store in Shanghai Hongqiao Terminal 2 with China Duty Free Group and is also in talks with many partners for other locations.

Dunhill – which is part of the Other/Fashion & Accessories division of Switzerland’s Richemont that also includes Montblanc and Chloé – has ramped up its digital presence as part of its expansion drive in Asia.

On Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site owned by Sina Weibo, Dunhill ranked third for views related to men’s fashion week, behind much bigger luxury players Prada (number one) and Louis Vuitton.

Dunhill increased its reach by +34 percent versus the autumn/winter season ranking. It was also right behind Louis Vuitton for the engagement rate, considered to be a very important indicator to show that the brand is reaching the right audience.

The digital advantage for smaller brands

Dunhill’s success shows that smaller brands in the luxury world can punch above their weight in expanding markets like China, where the country’s total duty-free business is set to hit a huge US$24 billion by 2025. One reason is that unlike traditional marketing, having a limited marketing budget does not mean having a limited reach in the digital world.

The digital emphasis is part of a group-wide focus on China’s online luxury market that has seen Richemont, which also owns Cartier and IWC, tie-up with Alibaba.


Dunhill has established high viewership on Weibo and its engagement rate is second only to Louis Vuitton.

Dunhill’s number three ranking on Weibo for men’s fashion week activities was achieved through a combination of factors. The Moodie Davitt Report understands that the house cooperated with celebrities and created a lot of assets during the period including street snaps and vlogs (video blogs) which, were welcomed by celebrities’ fans and Dunhill’s followers. The luxury house also live-streamed its men’s show via the WeChat mini program.

Dunhill first made it onto the Weibo table in June 2018 for the spring/summer 2019 show in Paris when it was ranked sixth. It has been listed in the top three for two seasons now. A major omission is Gucci. The currently hot brand does not make the list because it does not have a specific hashtag for its men’s offer.

According to Richemont – whose biggest revenue (71.9 percent) comes from its Jewelry and Specialist Watchmakers divisions – Alfred Dunhill saw increased sales in FY2019 (ended March) with “encouraging early results for the brand’s latest product offerings”. These included the JFA collection, Duke Leather collection, Engine Turn Luggage Canvas, Cadogan New Document Cases, and Dunhill Luggage Canvas.

In FY2019, the Other/Fashion & Accessories division in which Dunhill sits, contributed €1,881 million (up +two percent) to Richemont’s €13,989 million (up +27 percent).


This post originally appeared on The Moodie Davitt Report, our content share partner. 


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