In “Chinese Whispers”, we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.
In this week’s edition, we discuss:
- Rimowa to regain the control of its distribution rights in China,
- The profiling of WeChat Mini Program users, and
- The eighth fully-stocked Victoria’s Secret store in Hangzhou.
1. Rimowa plans to regain its distribution rights in first-tier Chinese cities – LadyMax
LVMH-owned luxury luggage label Rimowa is planning to regain the control of its distribution rights in China’s first-tier cities, according to a new report by the country’s fashion media outlet LadyMax, citing sources who are familiar with the matter.
The report also noted the brand would decrease the number of outlets in major Chinese cities while increasing prices by approximately 20 percent.
After the takeover by luxury conglomerate LVMH in late 2016, Rimowa’s new CEO Alexandre Arnault (son of LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault) has spearheaded a rejuvenation of the 120-year-old German brand, making it appealing to millennial consumers. Its collaborations with renowned streetwear labels including Supreme and Off-White have been a hit in China – a country where domestic demand for luxury luggage grew to $62.5 billion in 2017.
2. WeChat’s mini-program has hit 280 million daily active users – Yecao New Consumption
As of June 2018, the number of daily active users on WeChat’s mini-program has reached 280 million, according to Yecao New Consumption, citing a new report released by mini-program research agency ALD. 53 percent of these users are female and 68 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or above. Over 80 percent of users open a mini-program at least three times a day, and more than half of them spend over 10 minutes on it.
For luxury brands selling to China, mini-programs offer the potential to monetize on WeChat. Since the middle of last year, a slew of brands including Longchamp, Gucci, Michael Kors and Fendi has released mini-programs, testing out the potential of the new sales channel.
3. Victoria’s Secret opens its eighth store in Hangzhou – Fashion Network China
The American lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret launched a new store in Hangzhou, China on June 26, making it the eighth fully-stocked boutique in the mainland. Shoppers will receive personal shopper services from lingerie experts in the Hangzhou store, following its official opening ceremony.
Though Victoria’s Secret is a big-name player in China’s lingerie market, they’re facing competition from local brands who have made creative moves to adapt quickly to new millennial consumption codes.