NEW YORK — The Americana Manhasset is walking the walk and talking the talk — in Chinese.
This story first appeared in the April 8, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The upscale, open-air center in Manhasset, N.Y., was the sole sponsor of a 12-page advertising-editorial section in the March 9 issue of the Chinese World Journal. Images from the Americana’s spring advertising campaign, which happens to feature designs with Asian undercurrents, are featured in the section.
“We have a very significant Asian client base at the Americana,” said Andrea Sanders, senior vice president and creative director. “There’s a very large Chinese community and the Korean community is substantial as well. The World Journal section is part of a larger initiative, which is to make everyone feel welcome at the Americana.
World Journal is the largest Chinese language newspaper in the U.S. Americana wanted to make an impactful statement rather than occasionally running ads in the paper. “We wanted to communicate with the [customers] more thoroughly and in a more substantial way,” Sanders said. “A lot of potential customers in that community may not know us that well. This big section with ads and editorial in Chinese allowed us to tell a bigger story about Americana. If Chinese is their first language, there’s a trust factor with the World Journal.”
The center is helping retailers such as Chanel, Burberry, Hermès, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior and Oscar de la Renta learn about China Union Pay as a form of payment. The national bank card of China works like a credit card. The Americana staffs its concierge desk with a Chinese speaker. “Many of our stores have Chinese-speaking sales associates, and those that don’t are looking to hire them,” Sanders said. “They want to make sure everyone can communicate with someone in the store.”
Just as awareness of luxury brands has grown in China, recognition of high-end brands has increased within the local Chinese communities in the U.S. “We’ve seen a lot of economic growth and affluence in terms of the [local] Chinese community,” Sanders said. “We’ve seen a huge increase in Chinese home owners on Long Island.”
The Americana recently translated its store directories into Chinese and Korean. Its translations of Web pages into Chinese will be ready by mid-year.