The China Edit | Gieves & Hawkes, Rising Retail Rents, I.T’s New Mainland Outlets, The China Price, Harrods

The China Edit is a weekly curation of the most important fashion business news and analysis from and about the world’s largest luxury market.

Gieves & Hawkes Spring/Summer 2014 | Source: Gieves & Hawkes

Styled in Britain, Owned In China(The New York Times)

“For more than two centuries, Gieves & Hawkes at No. 1 Savile Row in London has been creating suits for the men of the British royal family — including the dark navy one that Prince William wore 2010 to announce his engagement to Kate Middleton. Yet today, in the upscale IFC Mall in Hong Kong, it is common to see a customer from mainland China trying on a double-breasted blazer similar to one owned by the prince and happily paying 12,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $1,550, for it. This quintessential British brand, owned by Trinity Limited of China, now has its largest customer base in China and has been gathering a tailor’s knowledge of these new clients… ‘I want to maintain the British aristocratic accent but move the collection in a more international direction,’ said Jason Basmajian, former artistic director of the Italian men’s wear house Brioni, who was appointed creative director of Gieves & Hawkes early this year.”

Shop Rents Driven by Cashed-up Youth(South China Morning Post)

“Shop rents in most mainland cities are expected to increase steadily as retail sales continue to grow on the back of a vast market of young, fashion-conscious shoppers who are willing to spend a significant proportion of their monthly incomes in stores, says property consultancy CBRE. The trend will not be confined to the first-tier cities, and tier-two cities, which are on the radar of international retailers, are expected to see a steady rise in new entrants to their retail markets.”

Hong Kong’s I.T Limited Will Open Three New Mainland China Outlets(China Retail News)

“Hong Kong fashion apparel retailer I.T Limited plans to invest HKD300 million to enhance its position in Hong Kong while expanding its business map in mainland China by opening three new stores in Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin in July 2013. In addition, its new store in Chengdu is expected to open at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014. The group’s largest project in 2013 is the new Galeries Lafayette project, which will be open in September in Beijing. Located in Xidan, the new Galeries Lafayette is a joint operating project by I.T Limited and Galeries Lafayette Group. With an area of five million square feet, the new Galeries Lafayette department store will have specialty stores of various brands, including Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Fendi, Chloe, and Givenchy. Those stores will cover 70% of the total area; while the remaining 30% will display products and brands sold via I.T. By opening four new stores, I.T will have 11 stores in mainland China.”

The ‘China Price’ Is Not Right(Jing Daily)

“Foreign brands in China are expensive. This is not just in relation to China’s lower income level: due to a mixture of duties, taxes, logistics costs, and price positioning, the price of foreign brands in China typically ranges from 30 to 80 percent more expensive than in their home markets. Among China’s sophisticated consumers, the price gap between China and the rest of the world has become common knowledge—especially among the aspirational and affluent white-collar workers who are expected to drive growth in the premium and luxury segments. These consumers are increasingly global and savvy in their purchasing behavior, have the opportunity to shop abroad, and are increasingly doing so. In an ongoing SmithStreet study of Chinese luxury customers in Europe, for example, every single respondent has essentially stopped buying luxury goods in mainland China, citing price as the primary (and typically solitary) reason.”

Americans Exit Harrods Top 10 As Chinese Flock To London Store(Bloomberg)

“The days of Americans being the biggest overseas shoppers at London’s Harrods store are over. While seven years ago U.S. visitors were the top foreign spenders at the purveyor of luxury fashions and specialty teas, they are now outnumbered by wealthy customers from China and the Middle East, according to Managing Director Michael Ward. ‘It is probable today that America will not feature in our top 10 of overseas customers because of the growth of the east and the mineral- and oil-rich nations,’ Ward, who has been in charge for more than seven years, said in an interview in his office at the 164-year-old store. China is ‘by far No. 1.’”