French Luxury Shoemaker, Christian Louboutin, is planning a Beijing store to open in July and a second Shanghai store to open by the end of 2011. Famous for his red-soled women’s footwear, Louboutin hopes to operate as many as five stores in China within the next three years, targeting China as well as Brazil. “There’s some danger for this brand, since it’s not very well known in China,” James Roy, a Shanghai-based senior analyst for China Market Research Group said to Bloomberg. “There is still room, especially on the super high end, but Shanghai and Beijing might not be the best choices” because wealthy consumers in those cities shop abroad during their travels, while noting that wealthy consumers in second-tier cities are not necessarily traveling as much yet.
Christian Louboutin may also tailor its designs sold in the Asian stores to the market, saying “Asians don’t like very high heels with pointy shoes,” typically preferring rounded toes. “Fabric is more popular in France, where women have linen shoes, but not in China,” Roy said. “In China, when the shoe is made expensive, they expect much more leather.”
Additionally, Louboutin plans to continue manufacturing his shoes in Italy, which will likely support the brand’s image in China.