Although appearing calm on the surface, Beijing‘s luxury consumption power has consistently ranked at the forefront nationwide. Here, we can clearly perceive the most crucial strategic deployments of luxury brands in the Chinese market.
By studying Luxe.CO Tong, the world’s first real-time luxury news platform under Luxe.CO, we discovered that from January to August this year, a total of 18 luxury brands upgraded 21 stores in Beijing, including new stores and refurbished old ones.
As the benchmark for national luxury retail, what changes are occurring within the luxury brand stores in Beijing? What new trends in offline retail do these latest developments reveal?
*Note: The research and report were originally written in Mandarin.
Which brands and commercial spaces are involved in the upgrade of luxury retail in Beijing?
Since January of this year, 18 luxury brands have collectively upgraded 21 stores in Beijing, including the opening of 9 entirely new stores and the refurbished opening of 12 stores.
Maison Margiela has the highest number of new store openings in Beijing, with 2 new stores in total. Next is Longchamp, with 1 new store opening and 1 refurbished store.
These luxury brand store upgrades occurred in 6 commercial spaces and 1 hotel in Beijing.
Among them, the commercial space with the most intensive store upgrades is Beijing WF Central, which has upgraded 6 stores so far this year, followed by Beijing Taikoo Li and Beijing SKP, both with 4 stores upgraded.
What are the new highlights of these luxury brand store upgrades?
– Expanded Area: Standalone Stores and Multi-level Stores Coexisting
In Beijing Taikoo Li, Canada Goose‘s flagship store underwent a renovation in June and opened in a new standalone two-story building. The space is divided into several exclusive experiential areas, with an outdoor garden on the second floor.
In August, Balenciaga, owned by the Kering Group, opened a temporary new store in Beijing Taikoo Li, while its original flagship store underwent an upgrade. The original store will be expanded from two levels to five levels, with added basement and three to four above-ground levels of retail space.
Louis Vuitton and Dior, both under the LVMH Group, have also unveiled construction barriers at their standalone flagship stores in Taikoo Li. Expected to be at the level of Louis Vuitton Maison and House of Dior, both stores are set to open in 2024.
It is reported that the remaining two standalone buildings in the northern area of Beijing Taikoo Li will be allocated to Hermès and Gucci from the Kering Group. With multiple luxury brands opening standalone stores here in the future, Beijing Taikoo Li will undergo a significant upgrade.
In Beijing WF Central, Gucci expanded its single-level footwear and accessory store to a two-level store encompassing all categories. The new store opened in February this year, covering an area of over 550 square meters, offering a complete range of products including men’s and women’s clothing, handbags, leather goods, footwear, jewelry, watches, accessories, fragrances, and the GUCCI Décor home collection.
– Diverse Experiences: From Scene Simulations to Lifestyles and Local Connections
In July, Maison Margiela, owned by the OTB Group, opened its first flagship store in Beijing Taikoo Li. The store covers an area of 260 square meters across two levels. The first floor features a dedicated area for Replica fragrances, while the second floor houses the third global Maison Margiela Café, offering coffee, beverages, ice cream, and desserts.
Canada Goose‘s flagship store in Beijing Taikoo Li is the brand’s first “Basecamp” experience store in the Chinese market. Basecamp is Canada Goose’s exclusive community platform, and the experience store hosts a variety of community-oriented activities.
Here, a Cold Room has been created, equipped with environmental simulation facilities that replicate harsh climate conditions. This helps consumers select the appropriate level of cold-weather gear in a more realistic usage scenario.
This store also serves as an exhibition space. It features distinctive artworks, such as those by Chinese artist Huo Gang and Inuit young artist Saimaiyu Akesuk, showcasing the connection between China and the brand’s homeland. The second floor of the store displays twenty iconic Canada Goose items, illustrating the brand’s evolution over time.
Hermès‘ first mainland China store, located in the Peninsula Beijing Hotel, has also undergone renovation and expansion, doubling its original size to accommodate sixteen major product categories.
Many design details within the store draw inspiration from Beijing’s local culture. For example, the façade features three-dimensional wooden relief inspired by the scales of dragons found on statues in the Forbidden City. The gray rock floor design is inspired by the distinctive stone used in the construction of Beijing’s temples in the Forbidden City. The patterns on the large rectangular carpet correspond to Beijing’s grid-like city planning. The “Bird Market” photographic works echo Beijing’s traditional bird culture.
– Promotional Activities: From Interactive Installations to Themed Pop-ups and Collaborative Releases
Luxury brand store openings are typically accompanied by celebratory events. Aside from the presence of celebrities, key opinion leaders (KOLs), and brand executives to create buzz, consumer-oriented activities continue to evolve.
To celebrate the opening of Maison Margiela‘s flagship store in Beijing Taikoo Li, the brand laid down a giant zebra crossing and created a temporary interactive experience installation inspired by Beijing’s hutongs. Elements such as Chinese chess and birdcages harmoniously coexist with the brand’s iconic four-corner stitching and the number “11” sign, representing the brand’s accessories.
This store also custom-designed a Recicla “Old Items Reborn” fan, featuring Margiela’s signature Bianchetto white lacquer details, hand-embroidered logos, and material traceability labels.
In March, MONCLER‘s flagship store at Beijing’s China World Trade Center Mall reopened after rearrangement, becoming a two-story store. At the new store’s opening, the brand globally premiered the new Moncler x FRGMT collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara.
In August, Longchamp‘s boutique on the first floor of Beijing SKP underwent a refurbishment and reopened. Before its opening, Longchamp set up a Longchamp X Toiletpaper collaborative pop-up space in the atrium of Beijing SKP.
| Image Credit: Official Weibo accounts of various brands, WF Central’s WeChat account, Luxe.CO production, Luxe.CO On-site Photography
| Editor: Zhu Ruoyu