China News Brief
    April 22, 2024

    Shanghai posts flattish retail sales growth; Zhou Guanyu named Shanghai tourism envoy; L’Oréal exceeds market expectations.
    Tourists shop at Global Harbor Mall in Shanghai. Photo: Getty Images

    Shanghai posts flattish retail sales growth#

    Shanghai’s economy remains stable , largely buoyed by a robust service sector. In the first quarter, the city saw retail sales grow 0.1% YoY to $72.49 billion (461.435 billion RMB). The accommodation and catering industry recorded a 1.6% revenue growth. Retail sales in various sectors showed modest growth, including grains and oils (5.8%), cosmetics (3.1%), and clothing and textiles (2.7%).

    Zhou Guanyu named Shanghai tourism envoy#

    Zhou Guanyu, China’s inaugural Formula 1 driver and a Shanghai native, was named  Shanghai Global Tourism Ambassador. This follows the “Visit Shanghai” campaign initiated last year, which appointed seven foreign ambassadors from various countries. Zhou’s appointment aims to showcase Shanghai to global travelers. Since the campaign’s launch, the city has seen a surge in inbound tourism, notably highlighted by the ongoing F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024, drawing international attention.

    Cartier Women’s Initiative unveils prize shortlist#

    The Cartier Women’s Initiative has announced  its 2024 fellows, recognizing 33 women for their impactful solutions to global challenges. Winners will be revealed at the Awards Ceremony in Shenzhen, with grants totaling $2 million and additional support like mentoring and networking. In the East Asia regional awards, Yu Xiaodan, founder of Chinese lingerie brand Ginger Ah, and Du Xintong, founder of Er Yu Workshop, were named winners for this region. The program, since 2006, has supported 330 entrepreneurs from nearly 70 countries, contributing over $9.5 million to drive sustainable impact.

    L’Oréal’s results outperform#

    L’Oréal exceeded  market expectations in the first quarter of 2024 despite challenges in the cosmetics market. Total group sales reached $12.57 billion, a 9.4 percent YoY increase. In China, L’Oréal grew sales by 6.2% in the first quarter, attributed to strategic category, channel, and pricing initiatives. Premium cosmetics, including brands like Helena Rubinstein and YSL Beauty, continued to thrive in the Chinese market.

    China buoys Samsonite sales#

    Samsonite’s annual performance report for the year ending December 31, 2023, revealed  significant growth, with sales increasing 27.9% YoY to $3.68 billion. Operating profit surged by 51.1% to around $744 million, and gross profit rose by 36% to $2.182 billion, with a gross margin of 59.3%. China’s market saw a remarkable 88.4% surge, driving a 61.7 percent increase in the Asian market, while North America, Europe, and Latin America also experienced growth.

    Chaumet names brand rep#

    On April 20, Chaumet announced  actor Yu Shi as its new ambassador. The brand said Yu, a rising star known for his resilience, epitomizes its belief in the power of sincerity and focus.

    APM holds collab launch party#

    On April 17, the fashion luxury jewelry brand APM from Monaco held  the APM Monaco x Yang Zi Limited Edition Collaboration Collection launch party in Shanghai, concurrently introducing the APM Monaco x Yang Zi Limited Edition Collaboration Collection. The CEO, Mr. Philippe Prette, and Creative Director, Ms. Kika Prette, attended the event, along with global brand ambassadors Yang Zi and Charles Leclerc, brand ambassador Zou Shiming.

    Nike to cut workforce#

    After issuing a profit warning for the first half of the 2025 fiscal year, Nike announced  plans to cut approximately 740 employees at its global headquarters in Oregon, starting June 28. This layoff plan is part of Nike’s $2 billion cost-saving initiative announced last December for the next three years. In February this year, the company also stated its intention to reduce its global workforce by about 2%, or over 1,600 positions. Nike’s revenue for the third quarter of 2024 increased 0.3% YoY to $12.43 billion, surpassing market expectations, with net profit rising by 5% to $1.172 billion.

    Frederic Malle steps down#

    Frederic Malle, the founder of Editions de Frederic Malle, is stepping down  from the renowned niche fragrance brand after 25 years. Recognized for pioneering a platform where perfumers could freely express their creativity, Malle leaves the brand in the hands of Estée Lauder. His departure marks the end of an era in fragrance, leaving the industry reflecting on his influential legacy and the evolving landscape of niche brands.