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:
- Louis Vuitton to Close Down Hong Kong Store
- Cartier Opens Flagship Store On Alibaba’s Tmall
- Amazon to Launch Luxury Portal Internationally
Louis Vuitton decided to shut down its store in Hong Kong Times Square mall after its landlord, Wharf Real Estate Investment Corporation, refused to lower the rent. The brand still has 7 stores in Hong Kong. It's also planning to open a new store at the Hong Kong international airport in 2021. However, analysts stressed that the store closing would still have a negative impact, with parent group LVMH accounting for about 6% of its €46.8 billion in revenue in 2018 from greater China.
Cartier, of Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, debuted their flagship store on Tmall. Consumers can not only purchase the entire line of Cartier, including jewelry, watch and accessories, they can also pre-order two new items — the new Juste un Clou bracelets and Guirlande de Cartier chain handbag ahead of other global markets. As an add-on service, consumers can enjoy engraving service and shop with interest-free installments. This is a step forward into the joint venture set between Alibaba and Richemont. In addition to Richemont, many brands from major luxury groups like Kering and LVMH have entered Tmall.
E-commerce platform Amazon plans to launch its own luxury fashion portal in the first half of 2020. It will first roll out in the United States and then to international markets. Brands can pay a certain percentage of sales to run their own mini-shops online. According to WWD, brands can fully control the appearance of their online space on the new platform. They can also use Amazon's vast logistics network for product distribution services. About 12 brands have already signed on.
This is not Amazon’s first attempt to enter the luxury fashion sphere. In December 2018, Amazon Global Stores announced the launch of the "Fashion +" project in China, further assisting Chinese fashion sellers to explore overseas fashion businesses and build their own brands through cross-border e-commerce exports. If Amazon can successfully enter the luxury market, this will undoubtedly be an important change. The e-commerce giant said previously that it has never given up on the category of high-end fashion brands.