China News Brief
    April 16, 2024

    Chow Tai Fook posts strong sales growth; Jaeger-LeCoultre names brand envoy; AliExpress deploys star power in South Korea.
    A woman observes details of a gold creation at a Chow Tai Fook jewelry store in Foshan, Guangdong province, on January 26, 2024. Photo: Ghetty Images

    Chow Tai Fook posts strong sales growth#

    Chow Tai Fook last week unveiled  unaudited fourth-quarter operating data ending March 31. Mainland China saw a 12.4% retail sales increase, while Hong Kong, Macau, and other markets collectively rose by 12.8%. Mainland China accounted for 88.6% of sales. Same-store sales in mainland China dropped 2.7%, contrasted by a 4.5% increase in Hong Kong and Macau. Gold jewelry sales surged 3.4% in mainland China and 16.6% in Hong Kong and Macau, while other categories declined. The retail network totaled 7,548 points of sale, with 153 net openings compared to last year.

    Jaeger-LeCoultre names brand envoy#

    Jaeger-LeCoultre has announced  Olympic swimming champion Wang Shun as a brand ambassador. In the official announcement, Wang is seen wearing the Reverso Tribute Chronograph from the Reverso collection. The brand said Wang’s sincere personality and spirit of perseverance align with its watchmaking philosophy.

    China’s e-commerce giants win market share in South Korea#

    BC Card, a credit card provider in South Korea, compared payment data  from October last year to March this year, showing that since Chinese e-commerce platforms like AliExpress and Temu entered the South Korean market, sales have increased by over 130% in the past six months. The total payment volume of Chinese e-commerce platforms has grown by 138%, with transaction volume increasing by 130.6%. In contrast, the total payment volume of South Korean e-commerce platforms during the same period decreased 2.5%, with transaction volume decreasing 1.1%.

    AliExpress deploys star power in South Korea#

    AliExpress yesterday named  actress Tang Wei as its spokeswoman for South Korea. AliExpress is increasing its presence in the country, aiming for greater visibility. Tang joins Ma Dong-seok as AliExpress spokesperson. In addition to the appointment, AliExpress recently announced a plan to invest $1.1 billion in South Korea over the next three years, and to expand the scale of its Korean subsidiary.

    Versace hosts dinner in Beijing#

    Versace hosted  a dinner at Beijing’s Cheng Space on April 12 to promote the label’s “Icons” collection. Versace’s global brand ambassador Zhao Lusi, actors Zeng Li, Wang Anyu and Wang Danni, young artist Zhang Zipiao, film directors Li Gen, Chen Jianying, Zhu Xinyi, film art director Gao Ang, and other celebrities attended the event. Similar events have been held in New York, Shanghai, and Los Angeles.

    Louis Vuitton returns to Hong Kong’s Times Square#

    Louis Vuitton is making a comeback  to Hong Kong’s Times Square after a three-year absence, signing a five-year lease for a larger store set to open by the end of 2024. The move follows negotiations for a rent reduction amid pandemic challenges. The brand’s return marks a shift in Hong Kong’s retail landscape, once dominated by luxury brands on Russell Street, now struggling to attract tenants amid rent issues. The brand’s absence saw the space repurposed for Lane Crawford and Fendi pop-ups. With seven stores already in Hong Kong, Louis Vuitton’s return aligns with the city’s efforts to revitalize itself as a global hub, fueled by recent cultural events like ComplexCon and Art Basel, aimed at boosting visitor numbers projected to reach 50 million in 2024, as estimated by Hong Kong government officials.

    Brunello Cucinelli opens Shanghai pop-up#

    The Brunello Cucinelli tennis series pop-up opened  in Shanghai's Hang Lung Plaza 66 on Saturday. Musician Henry Lau, actors Elvira Cai, Li Yunrui, Naran, and Chen Jingke attended the opening ceremony, witnessing the luxurious fantasy of the tennis world in a tranquil spring setting.

    Keen expands across China#

    The first Keen store in South China has opened  at MixC World in Shenzhen. Following the opening of its first mainland China store in Shanghai on December 15 last year, the US-based outdoor footwear brand has been rapidly opening stores across the mainland. It was revealed on Dennis David City’s official WeChat that the first store in Central China has also opened. Meanwhile, store barricades have been installed at Tianhuan in Guangzhou for another new store.

    Household income in China resilient: Deloitte#

    Deloitte today released  a report titled Overview of China’s Consumer Goods and Retail Industry in 2024: Insights into New Trends in Consumer Structure Changes. Zhang Tianbing, Deloitte’s Managing Partner for Consumer Goods and Retail in the Asia-Pacific region, stated that over the past few years, the per capita disposable income of residents nationwide has continued to grow, with a real growth rate reaching 6.1% in 2023, supporting the sustained improvement and expansion of the consumer market. The report mentions that China is currently undergoing a new round of consumer structural changes influenced by demographic, family structure, and lifestyle changes, giving rise to new development opportunities in the industry such as the “silver economy,” “she” economy, health economy, leisure economy, and green economy.