China News Brief
    March 15, 2024

    Porsche closes showroom in Guangzhou; Prada, Etro name new brand envoys; Zara’s digital-first approach reaps rewards.
    Porsche’s 100th sales outlet in China is no more. Photo: Shutterstock

    Porsche closes showroom in Guangzhou#

    Porsche’s 100th sales outlet in China, located in Tianhuan Square, Guangzhou, has closed  down. Related media reports confirmed this closure through customer service personnel at Tianhuan Square and advised consumers to visit the Tianhe Porsche Center to view vehicles. The closure of the Porsche Tianhuan Square store may be related to the decline in Porsche’s sales in the Chinese market. According to Porsche’s latest financial report, in the fiscal year 2023, Porsche’s global new car deliveries increased by 3.3% YoY to approximately 320,000 vehicles, but the annual delivery volume in the Chinese market decreased 15% YoY to 79,300 vehicles, making it the only market in which Porsche’s global sales declined.

    Prada names new brand envoy#

    Prada yesterday unveiled  Chinese actor Tan Jianci, 33, as its latest brand ambassador. Tan is a member of Chinese idol group M.I.C., and is known for his roles in the films The Advisors Alliance (2017) and Chen Renxiang in Winter Begonia (2020).

    Etro appoints brand ambassador#

    Italian luxury brand Etro on Tuesday announced  that Chinese actor Ren Jialun would become its global brand ambassador. Ren played a prominent role in the historical drama The Glory of Tang Dynasty (2017), and starred in Under The Power (2019), and Forever and Ever, One and Only (2021).

    Zara’s digital-first approach reaps rewards#

    Despite scaling back  its physical presence and closing a fifth of its stores in China, Zara-owner Inditex more than doubled its pre-tax profits in China last year, demonstrating the success of its focus on online sales. The company’s strategy of optimizing selling space by prioritizing flagship outlets and increasing online sales has led to significant profit growth in China. With a shift towards a digital-first approach, Inditex’s profit before tax in China soared to $263.69 million (€241 million) for the 2023 financial year. This contrasts with Inditex’s performance in the US, where pre-tax profits fell by 7% last year, highlighting diverging market dynamics.

    Miu Miu releases short film on womanhood#

    Miu Miu’s “Women’s Tales” series of films by female directors debuted  its 27th short flick, I’m the Beauty of Your Beauty, I’m the Fear of Your Fear, directed by Malaysian filmmaker Tan Chui Mui, on Tuesday. The series explores the superficiality of the 21st century and the essence of womanhood. Tan premiered her Tuesday at 52 Yongfu Road in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. The film will be available on Miu Miu’s digital platform and will be screened on MUBI.

    Atelier Cologne to re-enter China’s high-end perfume market#

    The L’Oréal Group’s fragrance brand Atelier Cologne will re-enter  the high-end perfume market in China with new fragrances, retail environments, and branding. It is reported that the new generation of Atelier Cologne will debut this month at the Shanghai International Finance Center, Beijing SKP Shopping Center, and Tmall. Founded in France in 2009, Atelier Cologne entered the Chinese market in 2013 and was acquired by the L’Oréal Group in 2016. In June 2017, the brand opened its first flagship store in China in Shanghai.

    Alibaba eyes big investment in Hong Kong media#

    Alibaba Group Holding intends  to invest HK$5 billion ($640 million) over the next five years in Hong Kong’s film and TV industries through its Digital Media and Entertainment Group, aiming to bolster collaboration with the city’s entertainment sectors and rejuvenate its cultural landscape. The investment will primarily focus on acquiring copyrights and TV series, film production, venue construction, and talent education. This move aligns with Alibaba’s strategy to leverage Hong Kong’s potential for growth within its media and entertainment businesses, exemplified by the success of Youku's Hong Kong TV drama The Queen of News.

    Despite China boost, profit alludes Adidas#

    Adidas recently released  its 2023 fiscal year performance report, indicating a 5% decrease in global revenue to $24.19 billion (€21.43 billion), with a gross profit margin of 47.5% and a net loss of $65.54 million (€58 million). Notably, the Chinese market continued to drive brand performance growth, with revenue in the Greater China region increasing 8.2% YoY to $3.61 billion (€3.19 billion).

    Allbirds posts net loss for 2023#

    Allbirds’ fourth-quarter sales fell  14.5% to $72 million, the San Francisco-based sustainable footwear and apparel company stated, citing lower average selling prices and increased promotional discounting as reasons for the revenue decline, partially offsetting third-party net revenue growth. The company’s full-year net revenue for 2023 dropped 14.7% YoY to $254.1 million, leading to a net loss of $152.5 million. Co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger will step down, and Chief Operating Officer Joe Vernachio has been appointed as the new CEO, effective today.