In “Headlines From China,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that have yet to make it into the English language. In this week’s edition, we discuss:
- Jewelry Sales Expected to Plummet in China This Valentine’s Season
- Hangzhou Department Store Group Launches Livestreaming Initiative with Taobao
- China Fashion Week To Postpone After Shanghai Announced Delay
Shuttered stores during the Valentine’s season are shuttering jewelry businesses. Due to the on-going coronavirus crisis, jewelry sales in China are expected to drop by as much as 60% in the first quarter, according to analysts' estimate quoted by financial media Lanjinger. In previous years, Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day were seen as peak seasons to purchase jewelry for gifts, as many Chinese families also plan their weddings during this time period. But this year, as both international and Chinese brands including Piaget, Wellendorff, Chow Tai Fook, and Chow Sang Sang have closed stores, their sales might take a heavy toll.
In collaboration with Taobao, the Hangzhou-based Yintai Department Store launched a livestreaming initiative for thousands of sales assistants to continue to work at home. A successful three-hour livestream session can bring as much traffic as the brand’s foot traffic over six months, the retail trade publication Linkshop reported.
Backed by Alibaba’s investment arm, Yintai is a local retail giant in its home province of Zhejiang, and owns 65 department stores across China. So far, over 50 of Yintai’s tenants, including Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Kiehls, Nike, and Fila have joined the initiative, which started in its flagship Hangzhou store and is expected to roll out nationwide.
China Fashion Week, which was planned to show from March 25 to 31 in Beijing, is postponed until further notice. The organizer made the announcement three days after Shanghai Fashion Week decided to delay its show this week. Established in 1997, China Fashion Week runs every March and October, with almost 40% of participants being Chinese emerging designers. With the on-going effect of the coronavirus crisis, the industry is also speculating whether Burberry’s first China show on April 23 will also be halted.