Rimowa Bets On China's Travel Rebound With Pop-up Exhibition In Nanjing

    Luxury luggage manufacturer Rimowa is looking to win clients beyond first-tier cities in China as inbound and outbound travel resumes.
    The pop-up exhibition was launched at Shanghai Taikoo Li Qiantan in October 2022 and has now landed in Nanjing. Photo: Rimowa
      Published   in Retail


    On March 30, Rimowa’s pop-up exhibition named "Ingenieurskunst Seit 1898" was unveiled in Nanjing Deji Plaza, showcasing the history of the German luggage brand since its establishment in 1898. The event spotlights the manufacturing process of the brand’s iconic aluminum-magnesium Classic Cabin suitcase, celebrating craftsmanship and functional excellence.

    First launched at Shanghai Taikoo Li Qiantan in October 2022, the Nanjing edition offers more interactive experiences such as a conveyor belt device, quality inspection devices, and a photo booth. The pop-up is open to the public until April 9, and visitors can make reservations via the brand’s WeChat Mini Program.

    Netizens’ Reaction#

    Thanks to musician Henry Lau’s attendance and violin performance at the opening, Rimowa’s pop-up in Nanjing has received wide attention. The Weibo hashtag “Rimowa The Art of Engineering” racked up over 2.1 million views within one day — a substantial number for a branded exhibition. On WeChat, users who message “Hi Henry” to Rimowa’s official account can receive a voice reply pre-recorded by Lau, which is also boosting online engagement.

    China and South Korea-based Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician Henry Lau has 12.4 million followers on Weibo. Photo: Rimowa
    China and South Korea-based Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician Henry Lau has 12.4 million followers on Weibo. Photo: Rimowa


    When Rimowa was acquired by luxury conglomerate LVMH for 716 million in 2016, Alexandre Arnault was put in charge of the group's first German asset. Under his youthful leadership, the 120-year-old heritage brand went through a series of transformations by collaborating with hype brands like Supreme, Off-White, and Palace, as well as artist Daniel Arsham.

    Over the past few years, Rimowa has cut down its wholesale channels and invested in brand-owned channels, including e-commerce and physical boutiques, to position itself as a luxury suitcase label. Though the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges to offline retail, the brand has continued to expand in China by elevating its in-store experience and growing its presence in high-end shopping malls and districts.

    As China's tourism and retail begin to recover, Rimowa is eyeing emerging markets beyond top-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Its latest bet is Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province and the second-largest city in the eastern China region after Shanghai. Deji Plaza, where the Rimowa exhibition is located, was ranked the second-best performing luxury mall in China in 2022, following Beijing’s SKP. By sharing its legacy and culture, the suitcase manufacturer looks to attract more potential clients in the promising regional market.

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