Images and videos of mega-long queues outside began to emerge on social media on Wednesday morning.
In a video shared by stylist Anibal de Almeida on Instagram, it appeared that fashion consumers were sitting by the edge of the windows at Chanel’s Walton Street store in South Kensington. One shopper even bought a sun umbrella with her while waiting outside.
Chinese social commerce platform Xiaohongshu user Yuki Young said by the time he got to the Bond Street store, there were more than 200 people outside. Another user, Xiaohongzhuzhu, said the people had been queuing outside Chanel since 8 in the morning before the store opened its doors at 10 a.m.
By early afternoon, the queue on Bond Street had shortened to around 30 people, but it remained the only queue on the street packed with top luxury brands.
In China, pent-up demand has caused long queues outside luxury brands since April 2020. Even with rounds of price hikes throughout the pandemic, Chanel bags have become so desirable amongst Chinese shoppers that many are resorting to overseas daigou, meaning shopping agents in Chinese, to source new season styles for them.
One daigou told WWD that many in the queue are not really buying bags for themselves. They are looking to make a profit in the Chinese resell market.