As one of many steps to reignite China’s consumer spending, a new Double-11 (or Singles’ Day) inspired shopping festival — Double 5 — has been created by the Shanghai municipal government. It launched on the eve of May 4 and includes 133 initiatives, with online and offline retailers and brands offering discounts and launching new products through the end of June.
As part of the festival, top global luxury players like LVMH, Kering, Richemont are participating in this “New Product Launch Season” type event. Kering, for example, plans to release new items from fashion, leather goods, jewelry, and watch categories in Shanghai before anywhere else in the world. “We are planning to launch around 40 items for the Spring/Summer season to satisfy the needs of Chinese consumers, and we are very confident about the long-term development in China,” said Cai Jinqing, president Kering Greater China through a statement.
While mirroring the Double 11 model, which was created by the private sector, Double 5 is a government-initiated project to jump start China’s stalled retail from the COVID-19 lockdown. It’s unclear, however, whether Chinese millennials and Gen Zers will buy into this idea.
On Weibo, although the tag #Double5ShoppingFestival (五五购物节) has been viewed over eight million times, the majority of posts are from state and local media trying to promote the festival. With glowing press coverage and government officials being featured on product livestreaming sessions, the trickled-down enthusiasm, so far, feels forced. And Weibo users aren’t chirping about it, as the number of discussions under the official Weibo tag only clocks in at 3,372 after a couple days of the festival. A Shanghai Weibo user said, “It’s just formalism, I’m not buying into this.”
While Double 5 has yet to create the FOMO (fear of missing out) that drives people to open their wallets on Double 11, the idea of a New Product Launch Season is a tempting way to get consumers into the stores to check out the latest fashion and cosmetics products. The Shanghai government has indicated that this might not be the last of the Double 5 festivals. Given this, global luxury brands might be using this event as a way to ignite some authentic enthusiasm from the ground — and sell tons of products.
The Jing Take reports on a leading piece of news while presenting our editorial team’s analysis of its key implications for the luxury industry. In this recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debates that sprout up on Chinese social media.