Stores and Retail

With China becoming saturated with stores from foreign luxury brands that are all starting to blend together, a few retail operations have fought uphill and resisted catering to the mass market to bring unique retailing concepts to the Mainland. This includes specialty retailers, local Chinese designer boutiques, and a handful of multi-brand boutiques, which are helping to develop the Chinese market and create a more sophisticated Chinese consumer.

2.8.12 – Alexander Wang’s Asian Expansion (Bridget Foley, WWD)

In an unorthodox expansion plan, Alexander Wang sets up shop in Beijing to capitalize on one of the world’s largest markets as opposed to expanding extensively in the West before launching more globally. But as Wang has expressed before, he sees his brand and customers as more global, and he wants to do something a little bit differently; consequently, his Sanlitun store will be different from his other shops around the world, while still providing his signature aesthetic that has made him a global phenomenon.

Rodrigo Bazan Dennis Wang Alexander Wang Aimie Wang

From the article:

“Though not surprising given fashion’s obsession with China and the designer’s deep personal ties to the country, Wang’s approach breaks dramatically from the traditional retail development of older Western brands, which have typically opened first in their home cities, whether New York, Paris or London, and next, if not in another domestic city, then elsewhere in the West before expanding more globally.”

2.6.12 – Hermès’ Shang Xia to Open in Paris (Joelle Diderich, WWD)

Hermès’ Shang Xia will open its second store in Paris on the Left Bank, as well as a second store in China in Beijing. Although admittedly not making a profit, Hermès considers Shang Xia as a long-term investment.

Shang Xia

From the article:

“The 860-square-foot store will open on Rue de Sèvres, a few doors from the Hermès flagship on the Left Bank, in a space previously occupied by accessories brand Furla, she said.

Shang Xia launched in 2010 with a store in Shanghai, and will open a second Chinese unit in Beijing in the second half of this year. It produces a full range of lifestyle products, including clothing, accessories, furniture and porcelain.”

8.15.11 – Fumin Road: Shanghai’s New Local Fashion Hotspot (No Author Attributed, Jing Daily)

With the recent openings of multi-brand store Dong Liang and designer boutique Helen Lee alongside older establishments like Madame Mao’s Dowry, Fumin Road has positioned itself as a top destination for local designer collections.

From the article:

Over the past year, Fumin Road (富民路), a once-sleepy street in Shanghai’s French Concession, has become something of a hotbed of activity for young local designers, several of whom have opened boutiques there as rents in fashion districts like Changle Road (长乐路) have skyrocketed. Much like Beijing neighborhoods like Nanluoguxiang, Baochao Hutong and Wudaoying Hutong, which have seen an influx of local designers and boutiques in recent years, Shanghai’s Fumin Road is now attracting everyone from independent designers like Helen Lee to multi-brand curated shops like Dong Liang (Jing Daily interview).

7.14.11 – Q&A With Charles Wang of Dong Liang (No Author Attributed, Jing Daily)

Chinese indie-designer store Dong Liang has quickly become an institution and the best retail outlet for local fashion designers. Here, Charles Wang of Dong Liang explains the beginning of the store and why it has been so successful.

Interior of Dong Liang

From the article:

“Dong Liang specializes in a “Trial-and-Error fitting service”, which encourages shoppers to experiment with different shapes and styles to “find themselves”, style-wise. Those who use this service tend to be some of Dong Liang’s most loyal customers. Aside from that, we have also had a good deal of help from celebrity endorsements and digital marketing.”

3.25.11 – Opening Ceremony Links with Lane Crawford (Jessica Iredale, WWD)

US retailer extraordinaire Opening Ceremony teams up with one of Asia’s top department stores, Lane Crawford, to create a unique Pop Up Shop in Hong Kong and Beijing.

From the article:

“In the nearly 10 years since Opening Ceremony opened on Howard Street in New York, its country-centric retail concept has fueled collaborations with Sweden, Japan and France, among other global locales. But Hong Kong is where it all began. It was a shopping-filled vacation there that inspired co-founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim to open that first store, which makes their latest project, a monthlong retail concept with Hong Kong-based Lane Crawford, a homecoming of sorts.”

1.13.11 – 2011 Trend Watch: Pop-Up Shops in Mainland China (No Author Attributed, Jing Daily)

Jing Daily predicts that 2011 will see a lot of Pop Up Shops in the Mainland, with concept stores such as Nouveau Riche, Triple Major, and Lane Crawford already creating a lot of buzz.

From the article:

“Temporary retail spaces have been a popular trend state-side for quite a while, with big brands using them to promote new collections and collaborations or small scenes of selectively curated items. With more mainland Chinese consumers becoming  not only big spenders but also fashionable, edgy and stylish in their own right, pop-up shops are appearing in China to generate excitement around new products and introduce new labels to the country’s shoppers.”