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The China Edit | Golden Week, Macy's Halts Online Expansion in China, Hangzhou Brands Booming Online

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.
Chinese luxury shoppers | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Lina Lee,
  • Lisa Wang

"Forget Fashion Week, It's Golden Week(The Business of Fashion)

"Golden Week" is the popular term for two semi-annual weeklong holidays in China, which, in recent years, have become eagerly anticipated high seasons for European luxury retailers. One of the weeks coincides with the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday (which, this upcoming year, will stretch from late January to early February) and the other, with the country's recent National Day celebrations, held during the first week of October. As Chinese nationals flooded European fashion capitals, retailers rushed to display China UnionPay stickers and shore up their Mandarin-speaking staff. According to tax-free tourism company Global Blue, Chinese visitors to the UK outspend other nationalities by an average of 70 percent — once they manage to navigate the country’s restrictive and frictionful visa application process.

Macy’s Rethinks Web Plans For China” (The Wall Street Journal)

The American department store affirmed its long-term interest in overseas expansion, but has momentarily suspended its online expansion in China. Following a minority investment last year in Chinese e-tailer VIPStore Co., Macy's was gearing up to launch private branded collections such as I.N.C. through a dedicated section on luxury website Omei.com. Officially, the company has stated that more time is required to gather insight into Chinese online shoppers. Unofficially, competition in the country's fast-growing e-commerce space may be overheating.

Online Fashion Shops Booming” (China Daily)

On the domestic front, local Chinese fashion brands are also evaluating their e-commerce strategies. In particular, garment companies from the city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province have achieved high levels of online visibility. According to Gu Xiaohua, secretary-general of the Hangzhou Textile and Garment E-Commerce Industry Association, early adopters were motivated to control their online merchandising and defend their brand identities from imitators and competitors on popular e-commerce platform Taobao. The local brands that have performed well online have managed to achieve, on average, 8 to 10 percent of their total sales from this channel. The consensus seems to be that online customers are 5 to 10 years younger and much more sensitive to price than their offline counterparts.

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