Tag Archives: retail

Conspicuous Consumption “Here To Stay” In China: How Will Retailers Take Advantage?

Luxury Market In China A Mixed Bag For Foreign Brands, Who Fight To Get Customers To Buy Inside China Rather Than Traveling Overseas

Although Beijing and Shanghai are China's "crown jewels," second-tier cities like Chongqing may ultimately prove the engines for the creation of a more comprehensive Chinese consumer culture

Although Beijing and Shanghai are China's "crown jewels," second-tier cities like Chongqing may ultimately prove the engines for the creation of a more comprehensive Chinese consumer culture

We’ve discussed recent reports on the rebound of the Chinese luxury market (which didn’t drop that much to begin with, despite global economic woes), and this year’s findings in McKinsey & Company’s Insights China report that China is rocketing towards the top of the list of the world’s biggest luxury markets. Although China remains one of the only bright spots in the world of luxury retailing at the moment, foreign luxury brands — despite rapid growth in the mainland market — often have difficulties convincing many of the country’s highest-potential customers (the wealthy and super-rich urbanites in top-tier cities) to buy their products within the mainland, strangely enough, because of the large luxury tax China levies on high-priced imported goods.

Possibly to combat this problem, as we’ve seen this year, many companies are looking towards second- and third-tier cities as a source of future growth, and perhaps leaving the top-tier cities alone and letting their Beijing or Shanghai boutiques function only as “showrooms” for ultra-rich customers who’ll simply buy the products on their next overseas or Hong Kong/Macau trip. In these smaller urban areas, middle- and upper-middle class customers, who still want to differentiate themselves through conspicuous consumption but are most certainly not part of the economic elite, could be the key for luxury brands who want their China locations to actually sell things rather than simply show them off like a real-life catalog. Middle- and upper-middle class urban professionals in cities like Xi’an, Qingdao, Nanjing and Chongqing — who make a decent living but can’t afford to fly to Hong Kong or Macau (let alone Paris or Tokyo) for luxury shopping sprees — are likely going to buoy luxury brands’ losses in top coastal cities.

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Hangzhou Hopes To Boost Tourism With New Raffles City “Mega-Hotel”

UNStudio-Designed Raffles City Mega Hotel To Be 60 Stories Tall, Incorporating Offices, Residences, Mall, 5-Star Hotel

Raffles City Hangzhou will reach a height of 60 stories, presenting views both to and from the Qiantang River and West Lake areas.

Raffles City Hangzhou will reach a height of 60 stories, presenting views both to and from the Qiantang River and West Lake areas.

The British website Holiday Hypermarket reports on the massive, mixed-use Raffles City “mega hotel,” currently under construction in the city of Hangzhou, which city planners hope will increase tourism and boost the local economy. Hangzhou, situated near Shanghai in China’s coastal southeast, is known more for its natural beauty and traditional architecture, but city officials hope that the “totally green” Raffles City mega hotel will make the city more attractive for companies that would otherwise be drawn to its more cosmopolitan neighbor.

This will be the sixth Raffles City project designed by UNStudio, following similar projects in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Bahrain, according to the company’s website. As Holiday Hypermarket points out, Raffles City Hangzhou is expected to be completed by 2012, and will feature several unique aspects that should set it apart from other large-scale mixed-use construction projects currently in progress throughout the mainland:

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