Chinese Whispers: Macy’s Exits the Chinese Market, and More

In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.

In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • Macy’s announces complete closure of China operations,
  • Shiseido’s new Chinese management team, and
  • Shanghai Tang’s new owner.

1. American department store Macy’s to completely withdraw from China by the end of 2018 – No Fashion

On Wednesday, the American department store Macy’s announced that it would permanently shut down its Tmall flagship store by the end of this year. The move signals the retailer’s complete exit from the Chinese market. The announcement said the Tmall store would no longer take orders after December 3.

Macy’s became the latest international brand to leave the country following failures by others like New Look, Topshop, and Marks & Spencer Group this year. In May, Macy’s attempted to restructure its business in China as it ended its partnership with Hong Kong-based Fung Retailing Group but it appears the change did not return positive results.

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

2. Shiseido doubles down on its China business with a strengthened management team –

This week, the Japanese beauty corporation Shiseido announced that the company will enhance the supervisory power of its Chinese marketing team from January 2019, in order to realize the “Vision 2020” strategy that places a significant emphasis on the growth of the Chinese market.

The new strategy will give more autonomy to the marketing division of the brand in China, which will help Shiseido become more influential and well-known among Chinese consumers.

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

3. Shanghai Tang was reportedly sold to a Shanghai-based investment fund – Jiemian

The Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang has found a new owner less than two years after being acquired by the Italian entrepreneur Alessandro Bastagli and Hong Kong private equity firm Cassia Investments from the Richemont Group, an Italian business newspaper reported on December 6 citing sources close to the matter. Details of the sale were not disclosed.

Recommended ReadingThe Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of Shanghai TangBy Huixin Deng