January 19, 2021

Where Are All the Chinese Brands?

HONG KONG — Chinese domestic spending is once again going full throttle. National retail sales data in the second quarter of the year revved up 11 percent, stunning analysts, and if there was any skepticism about those government statistics, international fashion houses from Kering to Hermès and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton have reported stronger bottom lines, boosted by a rejuvenated China market.
The impact isn’t being felt in the same way among Chinese fashion brands and retailers, however.
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Growth in the luxury space for Chinese labels seems slow or even stagnant. Little has been heard about Qeelin, the high-end jewelry brand Kering bought in 2013, or Shang Xia, the luxe apparel and home goods venture from Hermès started in 2010.
Shanghai Tang epitomizes the latter problem. Acquired in 1998 by Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, the brand failed to find a larger audience or innovate much past its signature qipao dresses, and eventually was sold off to a new Italian owner last month.
On the other end of the spectrum, some of China’s biggest fashion chains are closing stores en masse. For instance, Bosideng at its peak counted over 7,000 doors, but has closed around 3,000 of them

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