In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of July 30-August 3:
Property at home and abroad, expensive private schools in the US and UK for their children, “logo-lite” luxury goods, and vacations in France and Hainan; According to the new GroupM Knowledge – Hurun Wealth Report 2012, China’s millionaires continue to spend heavily despite slower growth in the broader economy. The report, which consisted of surveys of 503 individuals worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million), including 54 billionaires, identified interesting trends in terms of what China’s wealthy are investing in, buying, donating, and reading and viewing.
Expected to become the world’s largest by 2015, China’s luxury e-commerce market is becoming as profitable as it is overcrowded. But how are consumer attitudes changing and adapting to the growth of online retail? Recently, the China E-Commerce Research Center (中国电子商务研究中心) released a survey of 1,762 potential online luxury shoppers in 100 cities throughout China — roughly divided in terms of gender, with 897 male and 865 female respondents — that addressed that very question and identified some very interesting trends in the Chinese high-end e-commerce market.
Hong Kong’s skyrocketing rents, which continue to wreak havoc on the city’s mom-and-pop businesses, have claimed perhaps their largest victim of the year, as Swedish mega-retailer H&M has closed its sprawling 2,790 square meter location in the Central district due to spiraling costs. The location, H&M’s first in China when it opened in 2007, will be taken over by Spanish fast-fashion rival Zara.
According to reports released last week, Zara will pay a whopping US$1.4 million per month rent for the space, double H&M’s previous rent and equal to what American retailer Forever 21 is reportedly spending in rent on its Hong Kong flagship.
“Why are social media and online chatter more important in China then anywhere else in the world?”
I was recently intrigued by this question and asked around. The answer seemed to be: trust. In a country where brands have been known to place income over ethics (think the melamine milk scandal), shoppers rely on peers — not brands — for honest product feedback. An endorsement from a fellow shopper can be the difference between buying Rick Owens or Dolce & Gabbana.
Established in Beijing three years ago with a singular focus on stocking and promoting the work of China’s up-and-coming designers, Dong Liang Studios (栋梁) – which has expanded from a tiny 20 square meter location in Wudaoying hutong to a second location in Shanghai and a third set to open this month in Beijing — has developed a reputation as a go-to boutique for fashion-forward Chinese and expats alike. Catering to growing demand for less mainstream designers and labels among the new generation of Chinese fashion lovers, Dong Liang is an important player in the emerging multi-brand boutique scene we’re seeing in China’s major cities.