Amid concerns that fellow British high-end brands Burberry and Mulberry may have a harder time impressing the important Chinese demographic, the future looks bright for footwear stalwart Jimmy Choo. Long a celebrity favorite, Jimmy Choo has seen a spike in interest in China owing to a strong marketing push in the market and—perhaps more effectively—by product placement on the Korean smash-hit TV show My Love From the Star (which saw the brand’s Abel pump sell out at stores across Asia last year).
Strong Asia performance drove a nearly 6 percent sales increase for Jimmy Choo in 2014, pushing shares up 25 percent since the brand’s IPO last October. Sales growth in Asia hit double digits, hitting nearly $451 million in defiance of China’s much-publicized anti-corruption crackdown—which continues to crimp sales of most major luxury brands within mainland China.
Jimmy Choo’s strong, and still-growing, popularity in China couldn’t come at a better time. Despite a massive following in Japan, the devaluation of the yen and a double-digit increase in sales taxes—which saw consumers cut back on luxury purchases—hit the footwear brand’s revenues in one of its most devoted international markets.
Looking forward, Jimmy Choo can count on Chinese consumers to continue seeking out the brand in 2015, particularly on overseas trips. The brand recently unveiled its renovated flagship on New Bond Street in London—a popular destination for more sophisticated international Chinese shoppers—and 15 new concept stores have opened their doors worldwide. The company has also seen rising interest in its men’s footwear line, a relatively new area of strong growth among younger Chinese male shoppers (and one that’s been leapt upon by American brands such as Allen Edmonds in recent years).