SHANGHAI — Despite the central government’s ongoing frugality campaign, China’s retail sales grew over the recent Golden Week holidays.
The weeklong public holiday, which celebrates the anniversary of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China on Oct. 1, saw national retail spending rise 13.6 percent on the year to 870 billion yuan, or $142 billion at current exchange. That figure represents a slowdown from the 15 percent growth posted last year, but last year’s holiday period was a day longer than usual due to Golden Week coinciding with the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Although the annual October Golden Week ostensibly celebrates the 64-year history of Communist government in China, the occasion has, in recent years, become a veritable festival of consumerism, with both online and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers running countless promotions to coincide with the holiday.
According to a report released Monday evening by China’s Ministry of Commerce, heavy discounting was largely responsible for the increase in holiday retail spending.
Ministry figures show clothing, shoes, jewelry, electronics and home appliances among the most popular items with local consumers.
Jewelry counters across the country did a particularly brisk trade, helped by the lower price of gold compared with this time last year. Shanghai-based jewelry chain Lao Miao Huang Jin (Old Temple Gold) reported sales of gold and silver jewelry over the Golden Week period were up 55 percent year-on-year.
These domestic retail spending figures don’t take into account the increasing amount of yuan being spent by Chinese holiday-makers who choose to spend the Golden Week abroad.
Retailers in Europe’s fashion capitals, in particular, have become more focused on winning a larger slice of the Golden Week pie, with many running special promotional activities aimed at Chinese shoppers throughout the holiday period.
Harrods in London, for example, offered an exclusive Double Eight collection, designed by Mikimoto, and just prior to the holiday launched an official Harrods WeChat account, as well as Mandarin-language Harrods iPad apps.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion