China News Brief
    February 01, 2024

    Amer's US IPO fails to take off, TikTok aims to make UGC a shopping feature, and Prada regains top spot as most popular luxury brand.
    TikTok is going all out in the US. Photo: Shutterstock

    Ermenegildo Zegna posts stellar financial results, boosted by China#

    Italian luxury conglomerate Ermenegildo Zegna has announced  its preliminary financial performance data for the fiscal year 2023, reporting a remarkable 27.6 percent year-on-year increase in sales, totaling $2.13 billion (1.9 billion euros). The fourth quarter saw an even higher growth rate of 40 percent, with sales reaching $638.4 million (570 million euros). During the reporting period, both the Ermenegildo Zegna brand and Thom Browne's direct retail businesses experienced significant growth, particularly in the Chinese, European, and American markets. Following the release of the financial report, Ermenegildo Zegna's stock price surged by over 8 percent, resulting in a current market value of approximately $3.1 billion.

    Byredo turns to porcelain for CNY collection#

    Byredo has released  the 2024 New Year "Coming Home" collection that celebrates emotional journeys. Produced in partnership with product design consultancy and material research studio Kae, the collection comprises collectible porcelain items handcrafted in China’s “Porcelain Capital” Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, featuring a special dual-layer glaze design. Byredo once again partnered with Chinese photographer Zhang Jiacheng to capture the creative visuals for the collection.

    TikTok testing new content feature#

    TikTok is reportedly testing  a feature that could turn all user-generated content into potential shopping opportunities as part of its ambitious e-commerce strategy in the US. The feature uses technology to automatically identify objects within videos and prompts viewers to explore similar items on TikTok Shop. Unlike TikTok's previous approach, which allowed selected influencers and brands to tag products, this feature aims to make shopping more accessible across the platform. TikTok seeks to incentivize content creators with commissions on product purchases, and this new feature aims to enhance the shopping experience while still providing entertainment, though its accuracy in suggesting related products during testing has been inconsistent.

    Amer IPO flops#

    Amer Sports conducted  a US initial public offering that raised $1.3 billion, falling below its marketed range, marking the second major IPO in a week to miss its target. The company, known for its Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon ski boots, priced 100 million shares at $13 each. The IPO's disappointing result may impact the IPO market's recent recovery trend, reminiscent of the struggles faced by other companies such as BrightSpring Health Services Inc. Amer Sports is backed by China's Anta Sports Products, and it owns various brands, including Louisville Slugger and Arc'teryx.

    Prada regains most popular brand crown in Lyst index#

    Prada has once again become  the world's most popular brand, with global searches increasing by 41 percent year-on-year in the past three months, according to the popular brand ranking for Q4 2023 released by Lyst. Sister brand Miu Miu takes second place, followed by Loewe in third place. The fourth and fifth positions are occupied by Bottega Veneta and Moncler, respectively. The other brands in the top 10 include Saint Laurent, Versace, Jacquemus, Burberry, and Valentino, in that order.

    UK’s ‘tourist tax’ biting hard#

    According to a new report  released by the Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on January 30, the controversial "tourist tax" in the UK has resulted in a loss of £11 billion ($14.63 billion) in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the country. CEBR stated that it used tourist data released by the government last week to analyze the impact of canceling the VAT refund scheme and suggested that reinstating the program could have a "significant fiscal boost" to public finances, potentially yielding a net fiscal revenue of £2.5 billion ($3.33 billion). It's worth noting that as travel restrictions related to the pandemic are lifted, Chinese tourists are returning to London, but their spending remains significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. Last year, 350 companies, including Marks & Spencer, Primark, and the British Fashion Council, jointly signed an open letter requesting the restoration of the VAT refund scheme.

    Moschino names new creative director#

    On January 30, Moschino announced  the appointment of Adrian Appiolaza as the new creative director. He will be responsible for overseeing the brand's women's wear, men's wear, and accessories collections, reporting to Massimo Ferretti, the Chairman of the parent company, Aeffe SpA. Appiolaza's debut women's wear collection for Moschino is set to be unveiled at Milan Fashion Week on February 22. Records show that Adrian Appiolaza previously served as the women's ready-to-wear design director at Loewe for over a decade and had an enduring collaboration with JW Anderson. In 2002, he joined Chloé after his graduation collection earned recognition from Phoebe Philo. In 2006, he became a part of Miu Miu and later joined Louis Vuitton during Marc Jacobs' tenure, serving as a Senior Designer. In 2012, he returned to Chloé as design director alongside Clare Waight Keller, leaving in 2014 to join Loewe once again.

    H&M CEO quits abruptly#

    On January 31, Helena Helmersson, the CEO of Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M, abruptly announced her resignation, with senior executive Daniel Ervér immediately taking over her position. In her statement, she candidly admitted that the demands of the CEO role had become overwhelming for her. Ervér's most recent role was head of the H&M brand. After assuming the role of group president and CEO, he will continue to oversee the operations of the brand. Following the announcement, H&M's stock price plummeted by nearly 14 percent yesterday resulting in a market value of approximately $23.92 billion.