China News Brief
    February 05, 2024

    Valentino Beauty, Erdos, Hermès and Hogan expand footprint, TikTok eyes expansion in Indonesia.
    Valentino Beauty added a retail space in Shanghai to its China store count. Photo: Shutterstock

    Valentino Beauty unveils new boutique#

    Valentino Beauty yesterday announced  the opening of a boutique at Nanjing Deji Plaza. Inspired by Valentino’s haute couture fashion workshop, the store uses imported Italian white handmade bricks as its canvas, with a clean color palette to create a playful aesthetic space. The store incorporates over 1,000 color-changing mosaic lights to create an artistic installation wall, infusing trendy colors into the retail space. In September 2021, Valentino Beauty opened its first mainland offline flagship store in Shanghai Xintiandi and has since expanded to Hangzhou, Beijing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and other cities, totaling 20 stores in mainland China.

    Erdos opens store in Shanghai#

    Chinese cashmere brand Erdos has opened  its first urban-themed store, dubbed "Tender Space," on Dongping Road in Shanghai. The design concept of the entire space revolves around the interplay of urban and natural elements.

    Hermès expands in Hong Kong#

    French luxury brand Hermès is expanding  its store in Hong Kong’s high-end shopping mall, Lee Gardens, amid a renewed focus on the city by premium brands. The three-floor store is undergoing renovations and is set to reopen with a larger area, including the takeover of a neighboring store. The expansion will offer a wider range of products, such as handbags and furniture. This move reflects a broader trend among luxury brands, as they shift their attention back to Hong Kong due to economic challenges in mainland China, which has led to a resurgence of luxury spending in the city. Other luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton have also shown optimism about Hong Kong’s market, further highlighting the city’s luxury comeback.

    Hogan rolls out flagship in Shenzhen#

    The first Hogan flagship store in South China, under the Italian luxury conglomerate Tod’s Group, has recently opened  in Shenzhen’s MixC Mall. Hogan, founded in 1986, is known for its unique designs tailored for urban living. According to Hogan’s official mini-program, it operates18 stores in 11 cities across mainland China.

    Cartier to exhibit at Shanghai Museum#

    The “Cartier, Magician of Beauty” exhibition, hosted by the Shanghai Museum, will be held  in the East Pavilion of the Shanghai Museum this November. The exhibition will serve as one of the main events of the China-France Cultural Spring, celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France, as well as the Year of Franco-Chinese Cultural Tourism. Cartier’s collection first came to China in 2004, presented in an exhibition also hosted by the Shanghai Museum.

    TikTok acquires Indonesia’s Tokopedia#

    TikTok has successfully completed its acquisition  of a 75.01 percent stake in Indonesia’s largest e-commerce platform, Tokopedia, for $840 million, as announced by Indonesian tech conglomerate GoTo. This acquisition allows TikTok to relaunch its online shopping business, TikTok Shop, in Indonesia after it was previously forced to shut it down due to a government ban on online shopping through social media platforms. The deal integrates TikTok Shop’s Indonesia operations into the expanded Tokopedia entity, with GoTo highlighting the positive adjusted earnings in the final quarter of 2023, although specific figures will be disclosed later. GoTo, involved in ride-hailing, delivery, and financial services, also mentioned the possibility of conducting a share buyback as its profitability improves.

    Sotheby’s reports flat YoY sales#

    Sotheby’s announced  2023 consolidated sales of $7.9 billion, almost matching its 2022 record of $8 billion. Auction sales were $6.5 billion, with luxury auctions up 4 percent at $2.2 billion, and private sales rose from $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion. The year featured 143 single-owner auctions, bringing in $1.3 billion, with notable collections like Emily Fisher Landau and Mo Ostin. The top lot was Picasso’s “Femme à la montre,” selling for $139.4 million. Sotheby’s plans to expand in Hong Kong and Paris while preparing for a move to the Breuer building in Manhattan next year. In contrast, Christie’s reported 2023 sales of $6.2 billion, down from $8.4 billion in 2022, with its highest-ever sales attributed to Paul Allen’s collection.

    iPhone sales decline in China#

    Apple has forecasted  a decline in iPhone sales and a revenue target $6 billion below Wall Street’s expectations, primarily due to challenges in its China business. While the fiscal first-quarter sales and profits exceeded analysts’ predictions, driven by iPhone growth, this news caused Apple’s shares to drop 3 percent in after-hours trading. The decline in iPhone sales in China is attributed to stiff competition from Huawei and the popularity of foldable phones, which Apple does not currently offer. Sales in China for the quarter missed estimates at $20.82 billion, and the company anticipates lower revenue in the next quarter, leading to concerns about its performance in China and an overall drop in year-over-year iPhone sales.

    Body Shop eyes sale of operations#

    The Body Shop is planning to sell  the majority of its European and some Asian operations, including physical and digital channels, representing approximately 14 percent of its global business. The sale will not impact its UK operations, and the company aims to prioritize its strategic markets and global franchise partnerships. The move is part of a strategy to strengthen digital platforms, explore new sales channels, and enhance the retail experience.

    Chanel shuffles responsibilities in APAC#

    French fashion house Chanel is undergoing  executive changes as Asia-Pacific President Vincent Shaw plans to retire in June after 30 years with the company. Shaw’s role will be divided between Renaud Bailly, currently managing director for China, and Stephanie Couette, managing director of Hong Kong and Macau. This move follows a series of long-serving management departures at Chanel since Leena Nair became CEO two years ago, including the exits of US president and COO John Galantic and UK president Olivier Nicolay. Chanel recently reported a 17 percent increase in sales for 2022, boosted by Chinese shoppers and strong performance in various regions.