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:
- Canada Goose's China store debut delayed,
- Givenchy beauty's first global boutique store in Nanjing, and
- A Chinese sneaker resale platform.
On December 14, the Toronto-based high-end skiwear brand Canada Goose announced on Weibo that it would push back its first store opening in China, which was scheduled for this Saturday in Beijing's Sanlitun district, "for construction reasons."
However, the real cause for the delay, according to Chinese media outlet Sina, is that there is mounting negative consumer sentiment toward the brand in China following the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities on December 5. Chinese consumers have started to voluntarily boycott Canada Goose to show their discontent with the issue. The publication, citing industry insiders, wrote that "the hope for Canada Goose to open its first store in China is minimal in the near term."
Capital markets also show a lack of confidence in the brand after its relationship with China deteriorated. Since last Thursday, the company's stock price has fallen over 20 percent to 54.69 from 68.38.
Prior to the political dispute, Canada Goose was a luxury brand in high demand among China's affluent shoppers. Seeing the bright outlook, the brand embarked on an aggressive expansion in the market, including opening its regional head office in Shanghai in March and launching on Alibaba's Tmall platform in the fall.
On December 12, Givenchy Beauty, the beauty arm of the Italian luxury powerhouse, opened its first global boutique store in Nanjing, hoping to carve out a bigger China footprint as the brand is one of the most sought-after labels among the country's beauty consumers.
The store will not only sell the full spectrum of Givenchy's beauty collection but also offer a few exclusive items. To provide an immersive experience for shoppers, the store has also installed several AI-enabled magic mirrors that can help consumers try on products and customize beauty plans.
On December 14, China's streetwear company Yoho! launched a second-hand sneaker trading platform called UFO, which stands for "Unique, Fashion, Object." The platform has already attracted sellers of more than 3,000 sneakers and trendy products.
Globally, sneaker trading platforms have become a lucrative business as millennial consumers' appetite for sneakers with investment values has increased greatly. The same week saw British luxury e-commerce site Farfetch acquire Stadium Goods, a SoHo New York-based sneaker trading store.