Chinese Whispers: Japan’s High-end Retailer Takashimaya Exits China, and More

In “Chinese Whispers,” 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:

  • Takashimaya liquidates China business
  • Chanel Beauty to sell on Alibaba’s Tmall
  • Moda Operandi’s new Managing Director of China

Takashimaya’s notice in Chinese.

1. Takashimaya is the latest victim of China’s retail apocalypse – Sohu

This week, the Japanese high-end shopping mall operator Takashimaya announced that it would close down its Shanghai store in the Changning district — the only outlet it has in China — on August 25. The move also signaled the company’s permanent exit from the Chinese market after launching in 2012.

Following Carrefour China’s sale to the Chinese company Suning during the same week, Takashimaya became the latest instance of a foreign retailer who failed to keep up with the quickly-evolving new retail landscape in China. In the official notice that the Japanese brand issued to the public, it claimed that the “changing consumption structure and the stiff competition” made it impossible to sustain profitability.


The French premium beauty brand Chanel Beauty will launch a flagship store on Alibaba’s Tmall, this July. Photo: Chanel’s official site

2. Chanel’s beauty line to debut on Alibaba’s Tmall in July – Jiemian

The French premium beauty brand Chanel Beauty will launch a flagship store on Alibaba’s B2C marketplace, Tmall, this July. The brand will utilize the platform’s “Flagship Store 2.0” model to provide an engaging and interactive shopping experience to customers. With Tmall’s “Flagship Store 2.0,” Chanel can not only customize its homepage but also offer technology like AR Beauty’s Try-on for consumers to try different colors of lipsticks via mobile phone. A great number of beauty brands including YSL Beauty, MAC, and Estee Lauder have found profound success on the Tmall platform.

Ming Yang

Ming Yang, the new Managing Director of Moda Operandi China.

3. Moda Operandi officially enters China with new MD appointment – Moda Operandi

The premium fashion retailer Moda Operandi announced the hiring of Ming Yang as Managing Director, China, this week. Ming will act as Moda Operandi’s first employee in China, growing the company’s Shanghai team and overseeing all of Moda Operandi’s business strategies and operations in mainland China. Ming’s appointment also represents Moda Operandi’s official entry into the region as it builds out China-focused strategies, operations, marketing, and personal styling programs from Shanghai.