Niche Italian luxury label, Piazza Sempione, hopes to compete with heavyweights such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry in China’s crowded luxury market.
The company plans to capitalize on changing consumer tastes: “There are a growing number of Chinese who want to buy expensive niche brands rather than purchase luxury labels consumed by a less sophisticated, more mass segment of Mainland shoppers,” according to the company’s chief executive officer Enrico Morra.
The Italian label opened its first store on the Mainland in Beijing’s Shin Kong Place shopping center in April, and its second store at Citic Square, a high-end shopping mall in Shanghai, this September. It plans to open 10 more stores in China over the next three years in luxury hubs like Hangzhou, a city outside of Shanghai, and Chengdu.
The company is patient; fully understanding that it will take time for its strategy to play out.
Although there’s been consistent talk about struggling world economies, this is the perfect example of how China is still rapidly evolving and the potential for growth is abundant. You can bet that big luxury players will continue to invest and even innovate in China to compete with newcomers that are targeting consumers who are looking for something ‘different’ yet just as elegant. We’ll also see other Piazza-like competitors enter the market as this segment continues to grow, offering a more diverse selection of brands.
Another key point to observe is the group of cities Piazza has targeted. They’ve definitely done some research as to where their market potential lies outside of the two giants, Shanghai and Beijing. At the same time, they realize the expected growth won’t happen overnight.
Finally, this evolution of the Chinese consumers will surely provide many new opportunities for retail food companies and brands to sink their teeth into. We’ll see this happen on all levels and not just with niche restaurants popping up in high-end shopping malls. Do your research and get a head start on planting a good seed in China.