The China Edit | Mall Vacancies, John Lewis Asian Concessions, Moschino, Apple iWatch Trademark Worries

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.

TaiKoo Hui Mall, Guangzhou, China | Source: Shutterstock

Chinese Malls Waive Rents as Vacancies Loom” (Bloomberg)

“Chinese landlords are forgoing rent and paying to outfit stores for mass-market fashion brands including Zara and H&M, a bid to blunt the impact of a boom in shopping-mall construction that threatens to push up vacancies. About 21 million square meters of retail space is expected to be completed by next year, a 38 percent increase in supply, according to broker Cushman, which tracks 20 cities in China. That’s setting up a test for developers as retailers including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA and Gucci-owner Kering SA respond to slowing growth by scaling back expansion plans in the world’s most populous country. Vacancy rates in some less affluent cities could surge to more than 30 percent by next year from as low as 6.8 percent in the first quarter this year, Cushman forecasts.”

John Lewis Sets Its Sights on Building Asian Concessions Network” (The Financial Times)

“John Lewis is set to embark on its next phase of international expansion, eyeing entry to 10 new Asian markets through shops within the region’s department stores. The employee-owned retailer already has a wholesale arrangement with South Korean department store Shinsegae, as well as shops within four of its branches… This arrangement is set to expand, with the number of concessions rising to six this autumn. However, unlike many retailers, John Lewis is not seeking to establish itself in China because it does not believe that the market is suitable yet for its product range.”

Moschino Celebrates Past, Eyes Future in China” (Red Luxury)

“Among the city’s glittering lights and gleaming skyscrapers, Italian brand Moschino celebrated its 30th anniversary on June 6th in Shanghai. The special occasion also marked Moschino’s first runway show in China as the brand introduced its 2014 spring men’s and women’s resort collections. Within the featured women’s resort collection, dresses were made shorter and more fitted, and necklines are cut more conservatively – alterations made more suitable for the Chinese taste. “For us to be different is a key factor and a point of success,” Alessandro Varisco, Moschino’s CEO said. Varisco said Moschino has plans to open at least four new flagships in Beijing and Shanghai, though the timeline for the openings has not been finalized.”

Why iWatch Trademarks Aren’t Apple’s Biggest China Worry” (Jing Daily)

“The media has been avidly following Apple’s global iWatch trademark buying spree in recent months as the company files for the name of the prospective product across the world. However, the company hasn’t filed for a trademark in China yet, the brand’s second biggest market, possibly because of fears of legal trouble over copyright issues after it was reported in The Beijing News that other Chinese companies have trademarked the name. Although the media has been portraying this issue as a brewing legal controversy, all registered trademarks of ‘iWatch’ have expired.”