Following the opening of its China flagship in Shanghai in October last year, Hong Kong-based department store operator Lane Crawford has opened a new store in Chengdu with an investment of CNY300 million (USD48.5m), the company said on Monday.
Located in the new Chengdu International Finance Square, the Lane Crawford store totals 82,000 square feet, the same size as its Hong Kong flagship at ifc. The store is set over two floors, with more than 300 international brands across womenswear, ladies’ shoes and accessories, beauty, menswear, men’s shoes and accessories, and home & lifestyle.
The luxury retailer currently has 10 stores across Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu as well as a global online store which is optimised for the China market with Chinese language editorial, customer service and payment capabilities.
"Lane Crawford is invested in creating the future of global retail, in the market of the future. We are building beautiful stores strategically positioned in major regional hubs in Greater China. Our stores are seamlessly connected to our digital flagship through product and service, and this enables us to cover all of China, extending reach into new markets for our customers and importantly, also for our brand partners," said Andrew Keith, President, Lane Crawford.
Keith saw Chengdu as the thriving gateway to Western China and the financial centre of the region. "There are key indicators of rapid and continued growth in the region with strong GDP, a robust environment of foreign direct investment, a dynamic technology industry and double-digit average income growth. Not surprisingly there is an expanding super rich community and it is one of the most productive luxury goods markets in China."
"We’ve seen first-hand the appetite for designer fashion and lifestyle through the increasing numbers of Chengdu residents coming to Lane Crawford in Hong Kong and our online store – not simply to buy but also to learn and experience the world of style. That same passion and eagerness to engage and learn was also very striking in the 200 staff we’ve recruited. So we’re very excited about creating a really dynamic business here," Keith noted.
Lane Crawford is unique in Greater China for its "buyers model" executed at the scale of a department store, while other multi-brand retailers operate concession models, essentially renting space to brands. Keith said the unique collection of merchandise for Chengdu Lane Crawford was selected by a buying team of 85 experts which has close relationships with brand partners and designers globally.
Featured brands range from international designers including Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, Lanvin, Stella McCartney and Valentino to new generation designers such as Alexander Wang and Sacai, and contemporary collections including Alice & Olivia, J.Crew and Chinese designers Chictopia by Christine Lau, Helen Lee and Ms Min by Min Liu.
The store offers a host of personalised services including a Concierge team and a 5,700-square-foot suite for personal styling and private events. Exclusive beauty services include six beauty treatment suites, a hair salon and nail bar, with almost 2000 square feet dedicated to a calendar of activities including complimentary skin and makeup and fragrance consultations, beauty tips and trends workshops, product samples and new services.
As part of Lane Crawford’s connected commerce strategy, the Chengdu store and Lane Crawford’s online store are connected to provide a seamless shopping experience. Customers in Chengdu can enjoy same day delivery of online and store orders, or collect or return their online order at the Online Shopping Concierge, a 1000 square foot space featuring fitting rooms and iPads.
More than 3,000 square feet is designated for creative displays and specifically, a space called The Hub aims to showcase and support emerging creative talent in fashion, art and design, by showcasing their work in the heart of the store.
"We’re very happy with the way the Lane Crawford business has been performing, recording double digit sales growth in Greater China – and triple digit growth online. But as a heritage brand celebrating its 164th birthday this year, we have a responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business by building for the future," said Keith.
"With two significant stores in Shanghai and Chengdu completed within six months of each other, and an online store that is increasing its category and product range with the aim to parallel a physical flagship store, we have bolstered the foundations for the next generation of Lane Crawford," he added.