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paulfrenchPaul French by Fons1 via Flickr

Retail sales of luxury products in Shanghai have remained strong, tells retail analyst Paul French the Financial Times in an article about the Japanese shopping mall Takashimaya, who decided to open stores in Shanghai, despite the global economic crisis.
Paul French:

“There are still a lot of people that want brands,” he said, noting that the Taka­shimaya store will target the top end of the market.
“Valentine’s day was massive this year,” he said, noting that the combination of Christmas, the Chinese new year and Valentine’s day had helped sustain luxury sales.

French mirrors an optimism on consumer sales, that was also part of Shaun Rein’s story yesterday, indicating the 60 percent of the Chinese consumers expect to spend more in 2009 compared to 2008.
But setting up a foreign department store in Shanghai is certainly not an instant success, Paul French warns as he recalls earlier failures.

But making a success of department store retailing at the top end of the market can be difficult in China, Mr French notes, pointing to the failure of Lane Crawford, the Hong Kong luxury retailer, which closed its flagship Shanghai store two years ago. Marks and Spencer, the UK mid-market retailer, has also struggled with its new Shanghai store, the first M&S on the mainland.

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Paul French is also a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. When you need him at your conference, do get in touch.

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