IN THE NEWS

International Channel Shanghai|May 28, 2014

Outlets: A Strategy of Luxury Brands to Expand in Chinese Market?

As Chinese shoppers become more sophisticated and discerning, they are seeking non-traditional ways of shopping, such as outlets malls, to purchase brands they love. SmithStreet Project Manager Jasmine Sun shared her insights on ICS News Biz Box.  more

Wall Street Journal|May 27, 2014

China Increases Subsidies for Basic Medical Coverage

China has taken another step toward improving its social safety net by boosting subsidies for basic medical coverage. Robin Kerawala, a pharmaceutical expert and co-founding partner of Shanghai-based consultancy SmithStreet, commented that the move "could be a meaningful adjustment on the path to parity". more

Wall Street journal|May 22, 2014

Roche Says Chinese Authorities Visited Facilities

Chinese government visited Roche Holding AG's facilities this week, another move indicating its efforts to maintain pressure on the pharmaceutical industry. "The government is very serious about anti-corruption," said Robin Kerawala, Co-founder of SmithStreet, "they want the public to know that they are looking into this and that it's a key objective." more

Wall Street Journal|May 16, 2014

Giorgio Armani Risks Losing Its Luster

Armani's strategy is causing pain in key markets such as China. Armani doesn't appear at the top of shopper surveys for menswear, says Franklin Yao, managing partner at Shanghai-based firm SmithStreet Solutions, and that could dissuade landlords from renting out space to the brand. more

Wall Street Journal|May 13, 2014

Luxury Outlets Sprout in China

"Consumers in Shanghai and the other tier-one cities are very sophisticated and won't buy at full price at home," said Jasmine Sun, E-commerce and Retail Expert at SmithStreet, "In Europe and the U.S., consumers have discounts and outlets, but the China market hasn't been so fair to Chinese consumers. " she added.  more

Women's Wear Daily|May 12, 2014

Fast Retailing Eyes Expansion of GU Brand

James Button, senior manager at Shanghai-based strategy consultancy, SmithStreet, believed that there was particular growth potential for fast-fashion brands, like GU, in China's tier-two cities, where there are not as many shopping options. Button said. "A good comparison would be Forever 21 coming in with a very prominent flagship store, which announces, 'We're here, this is who we are'." more

Women's Wear Daily|May 09, 2014

A Trip With Michael Kors to the Mainland

"Michael Kors and similarly priced brands such as Tory Burch and Longchamp stand to gain in China when consumers are looking for something a little bit different and are trying to build a unique style," James Button,  Director at SmithStreet, talked to Women's Wear Daily.  more

Wall Street Journal|Apr 24, 2014

Adidas Is Diversifying China Shoe Suppliers

Adidas is shifting production away from a Chinese supplier after a two-week strike caused by a number of labor disputes. "Many companies are shifting some production outside of China's traditional southern manufacturing belt," said Jules Falzado, Engagement Manager of SmithStreet, on Wall Street Journal. more

SmithStreet News|Apr 09, 2014

Standards of Care for Type 2 Diabetes in China: 2013 Clinical Practice Survey Report

Working with the China Diabetes Society (CDS), SmithStreet conducted a report to reveal the status and standards of Care for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in China. The report is based on a national online survey, reaching out to 15,600 physicians and receiving 1,024 valid responses. more

Reuters|Apr 03, 2014

GE Recalls Hundreds of Baby 'Warmers' in China Over Safety Fears

Regarding GE's recalls on hundreds of baby "warmers" in China, Jason Loh, a medical expert at SmithStreet said, "at the end, poor and incapable companies will be eliminated, while large local players can focus their strength on R&D and innovation, perhaps taking over market share from foreign players." more

Women's Wear Daily|Mar 17, 2014

Alibaba Prepares for IPO in U.S.

Speaking of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's pursue on an initial public offering in the U.S., Franklin Yao, Managing Partner of SmithStreet said, "Alibaba’s massive expansion is not 'window dressing' for its upcoming IPO but rather an indication that the company remains 'bullish' about the Chinese internet."  more

South China Morning Post|Mar 13, 2014

Ready to Get Your Tesla on the Road in Beijing? Think Again

“The government plays a significant role in the EV industry in China,” said Shawn Wu, a manager of SmithStreet. Apart from the subsidies, “the [government] also provides top-level standards and guidance in terms of key infrastructure and technology,” he added. more

Reuters|Mar 02, 2014

Gap Seeks New Berth In China With Old Navy

Gap, which launched its first Old Navy store in Shanghai on Saturday, plans to open five stores of the value-end chain this year as well as adding 30 Gap stores to its current 81, Gap's Greater China president Jeff Kirwan told Reuters on Saturday. SmithStreet's Cherry Dai told Reuters that "Gap's position in China is not very clear. It's outpaced by Zara on a fashion level and out-competed by Uniqlo on the concept of high-value basics." more

The Wall Street Journal|Mar 01, 2014

Gap Plans Expansion in China

Gap is rolling out its lower-end Old Navy brand to cater to China's cost-conscious consumers, with plans to open five this year. James Button, SmithStreet Director said, Old Navy will face a large number of competitors including Shanghai Metersbonwe and Glorious Sun, which operates roughly 3,000 Jeanswest casual-wear outlets in China. Gap could fetch higher margins if it expanded its higher-end Banana Republic brand in China. more

Women's Wear Daily|Feb 27, 2014

Analyzing Alibaba's U.S. Push

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s announcement that it would launch a new e-commerce site in the U.S. SmithStreet's Jasmine said it is “not surprising” that Alibaba would venture into American e-commerce territory. She said that perhaps the company wants to learn more about the American market and also bring some of its knowledge about the sector in China to the U.S.. more

Reuters|Feb 20, 2014

Diamonds and Deals as Danone Struggles For China Bounce

The French dairy giant Danone is handing out the jewels as prizes in promotions to win back consumers it lost last year in claims of high prices, accusations of bribery and food safety scares. "Rivals have moved on faster than Danone because it wasn't just hit by one issue, but several altogether. Going forward, it's going to be tough for Danone to find a way to market itself for China," said Cherry Dai on Reuters, project manager at SmithStreet. more

South China Morning Post|Feb 05, 2014

Tesla Goes Against the Grain In China By Slashing Price of Premium Car

US luxury car maker Tesla is taking a bold step to win Chinese consumers by promoting A Fair Price. SmithStreet Project Manager Shawn Wu shared his thoughts with South China Morning Post. "It's not just about the pricing strategy but more to show how to communicate with Chinese consumers in the context of a more transparent pricing world." more

The Economist|Jan 25, 2014

Doing It Their Way

With tendency to become the next consumption superpower,China's market is growing furiously, but getting tougher for foreign firms. SmithStreet Director James Button shared his insights, saying that brands offering affordable luxury can capture both the upwardly mobile and the “post-luxury” elites in the cities. Firms that can flourish in China are not only winners in today's market but also winners in the future.  more

South China Morning Post|Jan 21, 2014

Russian President Putin's Praise Lifts Stock Prices of Chinese Hard Liquor Maker Moutai

Moutai's share price has been on the rise this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s complimentary remarks on the alcohol. James Button, Director of SmithStreet, said on SCMP that the Kweichow Moutai Company’s share hike was partly due its announcement on Saturday, which said its 2013 revenues had topped four billion yuan - up 13.8 per cent from a year earlier.  more

Jing Daily|Jan 06, 2014

How luxury brands can cash in on China's booming wedding industry

James Button, SmithStreet Senior Manager, has currently shared his insights on how Luxury Brands can catch the opportunity and succeed in wedding industry in China. more

Wall Street Journal|Dec 19, 2013

Hershey to Buy China Candy Maker

A local Chinese sweet company with a solid customer base can help Hershey to identify flavors that really work for Chinese consumers. “If you're a Western company, you look at these flavors and think, 'This could never work,' "James Button told Wall Street Journal. In this way, Hershey aims to getting a stronger hold in China, an increasingly lucrative market in the global candy industry. more

Women's Wear Daily|Dec 03, 2013

New Rules to Dictate Spending Habits of China Officials

Beijing launched new regulations on how officials should avoid extravagant spending last week. What’s the impact on luxury players? It means embracing adaptability is the key to survival, said Senior Manager James Button on Women’s Wear Daily. He believes that consumer confidence is still there, it is just now Chinese consumers are much more disciplined about how they spend and what they buy. more

The Economist|Nov 16, 2013

Who Dares, Plays

Lego's sales have grown by 70% in China, 35% in South Korea and 20% in Singapore last year. Speaking of Lego's success in Asia, SmithStreet Senior Manager James Button said on The Economist that Lego is cleverly straddling the line between education and play, which appeals to governments and mothers, as well as to children. more

The New Yorker|Nov 13, 2013

The Year of the Lego

Lego's rise in China helps it overtake Hasbro to become the world’s second-largest toymaker. Why Lego thrives in China? SmithStreet Senior Manager James Button shared his insights in The New Yorker, suggesting one of the primary reasons is that many Chinese parents have been attracted to Lego’s capacity to develop children’s creativity and independence. more

CCTV News|Oct 28, 2013

Eyes on Shanghai Free Trade Zone - Biz Asia

Shanghai Free Trade Zone's new import tax regulation may signal a solid first-step change for the market, implying that it's not just for a show. SmithStreet Partner Anders Paulsson discussed the impact of the recent FTZ's tax policy on CCTV News Biz Asia. more

CCTV News|Oct 24, 2013

Wal-Mart's Next Move in China - Biz Asia

Talking about Wal-Mart's next move in China, SmithStreet Senior Manager James Button shared his insights on CCTV News Biz Asia. more

Reuters|Oct 21, 2013

Starbucks under Media Fire in China for High Prices

Starbucks, as the world's leading coffee chain, was reported making excessive profits in China, by the Chinese state media. The topic has been on fire, and different groups are holding different attitudes toward it. more

South China Morning Post|Oct 19, 2013

After Apple, is Starbucks Chinese State Media’s Next Target?

Starbucks is under the massive media attack led by China's official state media claiming its ultra-high profit margins in China area. James Button expressed his opinion on this issue declaring that Starbucks is actually sold at a lower premium than other foreign luxury products sold in the country. more

Wall Street Journal|Oct 16, 2013

LVMH Needs to Mix and Match

What does LVMH need to change facing China's ever evolving and challenging luxury market? SmithStreet Managing Partner Franklin Yao suggested a little variety would help given that these days malls in China's major cities are loaded with options for increasingly sophisticated shoppers more

Wall Street Journal|Oct 16, 2013

Wal-Mart Takes a Pause in China

Wal-Mart plans to close down stores in China. SmithStreet Senior manager James Button discussed with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting that the closure could help Wal-Mart create a more consistent brand image, "they need to focus on existing locations to align the stores with where the customer is today." more
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