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:
- Textile Factory Being Punished For Reopening Amid Virus Crisis
- How Does Owner of ONLY’s WeMall Sales Outperform As China Stores Close?
- Prada’s Flagship Hong Kong Store Shuts Four Months Early
Textile Factory Being Punished For Reopening Amid Virus Crisis – Liuzhou Evening News
Irregular times bring irregular rules. Recently, when three workers were found working at a textile factory in Jiangsu Province, the local government officials called the police.
To contain the spread of the coronavirus, Jiangsu Provincial Government required companies — excluding utility and necessities providers — to not open before February 10. The head of the workshop, whose last name is Yu, ended up becoming the first person in China who forbade the emergency order, and consequently, spent five days in the local police station.
The temporary work ban is likely to have a ripple effect in the global fashion industry, as Jiangsu and nearby Zhejiang province have been the main base for textile and clothing factories.
How Does Owner of ONLY’s WeMall Sales Outperform As China Stores Close – Ebrun.com
Despite closing physical stores due to the coronavirus, Bestseller (绫致时尚), the parent company of Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, and ONLY have been successfully engaging with shoppers through Tencent’s WeMall in China. Over the first six days of February, Bestseller’s net sales on WeMall has exceeded 28 million yuan ($4 million).
The company’s main strategy is incentivization. It recently upped its commission for retail salespeople, who promote products to customers through chat groups and direct them to shop on WeMall, a collaboration between Bestseller and Tencent Smart Retail department since March 2018.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, companies should switch from the mindset of “hoping this will end soon” to “how we can run our business during the crisis,” said Liu Dongyue, the head of smart retail at Bestseller.
Prada’s Flagship Hong Kong Store Shuts four Months Early – Mingpao.com
Originally planned to close in June this year, Prada’s flagship store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, has shut its doors four months early. The reason is unclear but Ming Pao tagged it under “Wuhan Coronavirus,” suggesting that the virus crisis may cause the company’s decision.
Last August, the Italian luxury fashion house chose to opt out of the 15,000-square-foot space owing to “dwindling shoppers’ foot traffic,” as South China Morning Post reported, but decided to wait until the lease ends. Retail sales, especially those from mainland China visitors, started to shrink as early as 2014 when a series of protests commenced, SCMP wrote.