HONG KONG-Lane Crawford’s business in Hong Kong are starting to recover in the lead up to Christmas and its sales in mainland China are posting strong growth, according to Andrew Keith, president of the luxury and fashion retailer.
“Over the past couple of months we’re seeing a stabilization in the Hong Kong business and we’ve actually started to see some comps store growth, which we are very encouraged by,” Keith said of the city, which has suffered for a year and a half as Chinese tourist flows have slowed. Lane Crawford’s Hong Kong network consists of three department stores and two home stores.
The executive said local Hong Kong residents are shopping more frequently and spending more these days- a dynamic he attributes to the retailer’s messaging and product assortment for Christmas as well as its investment in areas like customer relations management and VIP shopping suites.
Keith said the retailer is seeing double-digit growth at its stores in Shanghai and Chengdu while sales are flat at its two Beijing locations. The executive, who declined to release financial figures, noted a shift in Chinese consumer purchasing patterns away from imported designer brands that are widely distributed around the world. Emerging Chinese brands, ath-leisure brands and contemporary brands are doing particularly well in the current climate. Ellery and Sacai are performing well for Lane Crawford, along with up-and-coming Chinese labels like Comme Moi and Helen Lee, he said.
Keith, who was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural Fashion Asia 2016 conference here, said the retailer will continue to stock more and more Asian brands to satisfy consumer demand for new names and fashion perspectives. Already the retailer sources 20 percent of its fashion from Asia and he said that percentage could grow to as much as 50 percent over the next few years.
“The consumer here is, you know, not necessarily influenced and inspired in the same way that a European or a North American customer is,” he said.