Victoria Secret took on China online, but has now decided to open its first offline retail flagship store in Shanghai. They move very cautiously, says retail expert Ben Cavender in AdAge, and they have a fair chance of getting it right in one of the most difficult retail markets in the world.
Victoria’s Secret’s planned Shanghai flagship is in a prime shopping space formerly occupied by a Louis Vuitton that closed, a victim of China’s luxury slowdown. Signs there announce an opening for fall 2016, though it’s still boarded up. The receptionist at the mall’s welcome desk said it probably would not open until after Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, which starts on Jan. 27. L Brands, Victoria Secret’s parent company, did not respond to Ad Age’s questions about the opening date. The brand has said it is planning a flagship for Beijing as well.
Given the brand’s bad experiences with unauthorized shops in the past, “they really want to make sure they get the entry right,” said Ben Cavender, director at China Market Research Group. “I think they will take extra time, they need to make sure they get the store experience right and have the right products in the store.”
If the brand offers great customer service and gets it right, it has good potential, Mr. Cavender says: “There’s still a lot of room to grow and become pretty strong in the market.”
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