Louis Vuitton’s first permanent restaurant in China is landing in Chengdu. Named “The Hall,” the restaurant is housed in the century-old heritage site of Guangdong Hall, next to the brand’s flagship store at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li — the city’s luxury landmark. The menu is inspired by pan-European flavors with classics from both French and Mediterranean cuisine, and will be executed by visiting Michelin-star chefs (from China and abroad) who will swap out every six months. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner service as well as afternoon tea.
In celebration of the grand opening, the house rolled out an interactive game called “Mah Jump" (referring to mahjong) on WeChat Mini Program. The brand also commissioned Chengdu-born rapper Ma Siwei to produce a song called “What’s Your Style” (“啥子范”), which is the game’s background music.
The much-anticipated eatery has driven significant online buzz in China. The video touring Guangdong Hall attracted over 54,200 views on Weibo within 10 hours. Many foodies have added the newly-opened location to their bucket list. However, with a limited number of seats, the restaurant is booked until the end of November. Meanwhile, the cute, colorful panda sculptures at the entrance have also become a popular social media check-in.
Opting for Chengdu instead of top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai is one of the most insightful strategies behind the restaurant. The Southwestern city has proven its resilience despite the ongoing pandemic. According to Swire Group’s interim report 2022, gross rental income at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu was roughly the same in the first half of 2022 as it was in the same period in 2021. Retail sales decreased by 8 percent and the occupancy rate was 96 percent as of June 30. Moreover, local residents' penchant for leisure and social life makes Chengdu a perfect location for Louis Vuitton’s first dining presence in China.
In addition to physical activations, the WeChat Mini Program highlights Louis Vuitton's localization skills. Through integrating extensive cultural elements such as hot pot, nightlife, and tea drinking, the game invites users to virtually explore Chengdu. The hip-hop song written by a local musician also elevates the initiative’s cultural relevance and organically engages the Gen Z demographic.
Louis Vuitton is a veteran at creating wow moments for sophisticated Chinese consumers. From the spectacular Men’s Spring 2023 spin-off show in Aranya to an exhibition in Qingdao, it has experimented with various creative marketing tactics tailored to regional markets. In a period full of uncertainties, the leading luxury brand navigates the market with positivity and innovation.