IN THE NEWS

Consumer Goods|May 22, 2017

China Will Allow U.S. Beef Imports

It is officially announced that China has agreed to allow U.S. imports of beef no later than July 16, 2017. SmithStreet has rich experience in market assessment including China's expanding E-commerce market for China market entry strategy. more

Luxury|May 11, 2017

China's Return to Great Retail Service

We are bringing the retail experience in China, back to the natural experience of caring for honored guests by changing the relationships and environment. Customers are those honored guests when the brand is our family, and the store is a home. more

Reuters|Nov 18, 2016

New Look Seeks Fashion Edge in China with Local Designs

A bigger challenge for New Look may be to secure the right locations, especially as rivals also seek to add hundreds of stores in the coming years. "To find 500 stores of real estate and roll that out in the right way ... I think it is virtually impossible," said Franklin Yao, managing partner at strategy consultants Smith Street. more

Bloomberg|Jul 18, 2016

Nestle Seeks China Turnaround Online as Competitors Abound

It can be challenging for fast-moving consumer goods brands to be profitable in China's E-commerce space, but brand presence is essential. When consumers search for your brand, you want to be the one controlling the narrative. SmithStreet consultant Samuel Coopersmith said at Bloomberg interview, that e-commerce sellers need to use a variety of strategies, like paying Alibaba for top placement spots and engaging with its search algorithm, to remain visible to buyers. more

German Chamber|Jun 16, 2016

A Middle-Class Force Awakens

Nowadays, there is no longer the desire to invest in that LV bag because it means having to forgo watching IMAX movies, eating at Ippudo Ramen, participating in an exercise class, flying to Hokkaido for cherry blossom season, or owning an iPhone 6S instead of a Xiaomi. Actually given Apple’s recent earning report, we can even argue that physical luxury is now no longer as important as it once was.  In other words, the new middle-class has a broader set of spending choices today that need to be satisfied before moving into spending on true luxury products. However this consumer may soon be ready to spend on luxury again. more

Retail Real Estate|Apr 07, 2016

The China Challenge: Where to Expand Luxury Retail

China’s brick-and-mortar luxury retailing has suffered in recent years because of a combination of factors – many of which are about increasing access to more options and yuan-friendly prices when purchasing luxury abroad while traveling or online from international e-tailers. more

Luxury|Apr 07, 2016

Luxury Firms React to China Economic Upheaval

When it comes to China and its ongoing economic turmoil, brands must look to the long term — and change strategy. more

WWD|Nov 18, 2015

China’s Watch-Buying Habits Are Changing

Chinese consumers are buying fewer watches in China and Hong Kong, but that doesn’t mean they are any less interested in luxury timepieces. more

Wall Street Journal|Sep 14, 2015

Chinese Luxury Shoppers Speak Euro

“You prepare for the worst, but then the worst is even worse than what you prepared for...It’s a come-to-Jesus moment. Everything we’ve been doing we have to rethink.” Franklin Yao, Managing Partner and Co-founder of SmithStreet was featured by Wall Street Journal. more

Reuters|Jun 02, 2015

Import tax cuts no remedy for retail slowdown

China's economic policymakers clearly didn't consult mother-of-one Chen Xuejun when they decided to try stimulating consumer demand by slashing import tariffs on sneakers to skincare. SmithStreet's Robin Kerawala told Reuters' Adam Jourdan, "It's a good sentiment from Beijing, but the impact on the price consumers will actually see is going to be diluted." more

Reuters|May 25, 2015

China slashes import tax on skincare to shoes to spark domestic demand

The Ministry said lowering duties should steer a shift in consumers' shopping habits, helping boost imports and domestic consumption. Any immediate impact, however, could be limited because import taxes are only one part of the price gap between China and other markets, said Robin Kerawala, Shanghai-based partner at consultancy SmithStreet. more

WWD|Apr 13, 2015

Chinese Consumers Applaud Chanel Price Drop

Though it may not be the right move for every luxury brand, Chanel's worldwide price realignment seems to be a positive one. James Button explained that it was the kind of move a high-profile, exclusive first mover such as Chanel could benefit from, because Chanel customers aren’t necessarily as price-driven as those shopping for other brands. more

BloombergBusiness|Jan 30, 2015

Why Luxury Brands Love China's Sex and the City

Why luxury brands, like Fendi, Michael Kors and Lancome, are looking to profit on the buzz generated by popular Tiny Times  books and films. Jasmine Sun, Smithstreet manager, analyzed that movies have attracted younger Chinese and represent the aspirations of teenagers, a generation which is superficial, materialist, and creative with less burdens and limitations. more

Women's Wear Daily|Jan 28, 2015

Alibaba in Hot Water With Chinese Regulators

The State Administration for Industry & Commerce released the “Alibaba White Paper” on its Web site, accusing Taobao of turning a blind eye to piracy and counterfeit products. Jasmine Sun, Smithstreet manager, showed no surprise because shoppers on Taobao are gambling that they might buy something authentic, or they just get something close enough to an authentic product for a bargain price. more

Jing Daily|Oct 23, 2014

Building Against Reality: How Retail Brands Can Navigate China's Real Estate Inefficiencies

SmithStreet's methodology was featured on Jing Daily that brands should have full information about the locations they are considering to navigate China's real estate inefficiencies and achieve their goals. Jules Falzado, SmithStreet Manager, added “In China, you have the rental fee, but if your performance is higher, they will take a percentage of sales, thus they will also know if you are not performing well.” more

The Economist |Oct 18, 2014

It Is Hard For Small Businesses to Break Into the Chinese Market

It is hard for small businesses to break into the Chinese market. "A bigger snag is that getting China right demands a huge amount of attention from the top brass", explains Franklin Yao, SmithStreet's Managing Partner.  more

Business Insider|Oct 08, 2014

Lego Is More Similar To Apple Than You Think

Lego is making global domination look like child's play, as the world's biggest toy-maker puts the building blocks in place to lead rivals in Asia and buck an industry-wide revenue dip. "In China you have a nation of 'only' children and parents are willing to spend a lot," said James Button, Director at SmithStreet.  more

Women's Wear Daily|Oct 02, 2014

Report Focuses on China Real Estate Strategies

SmithStreet's methodology was featured on WWD that brands should not rely solely on joint-venture partners in selecting retail locations in China. Jules Falzado, SmithStreet Manager, added “In China, you have the rental fee, but if your performance is higher, they will take a percentage of sales, thus they will also know if you are not performing well.”  more

AdAge|Sep 17, 2014

For Foreign Brands in China, Another Worry: Their Price Tags

The Chinese government has been watching the prices charged by foreign high-end auto brands in China and conducted a series of probes. James Button, Director of SmithStreet, said on AdAge "while focusing on the price of a staple like baby formula can be seen as protecting the ordinary consumer, it's hard to make that argument about [a] BMW."  more

Bloomberg News|Sep 12, 2014

Rotten Food ‘Wikipedia’ Fights China’s Fake Meat

Chinese NGO “Throwing It Out the Window” which can be seen as a “Wikipedia” that tracks food safety and questionable manufacturing in China. Since its inception in 2010, it has been dedicated to promoting food safety in China. Shawn Wu, SmithStreet's Senior Manager, shares on Bloomberg News that the government and third-party inspectors need to find a way to make consumers’ voices louder. more

Wall Street Journal|Sep 03, 2014

If You Build It, Will They Come? China Opens World’s Biggest Duty Free Mall

China opened on September 1 the world's biggest duty-free mall in Sanya, the resort town in China's southern Hainan province. Franklin Yao, SmithStreet's Managing Partner, predicts the mall will appeal particularly to tourists from China’s second-and third-tier cities.  more

Reuters|Sep 01, 2014

China's Li Ning Stumbles From Gold Medal Position to No Man's Land

After having lost four-fifths of its market value, Li Ning has made efforts to recapture its glory days by appealing to a younger generation. Even as Li Ning invests to try to build the brand, the company still faces inventory issues that can effect its reputation, said James Button, Director of SmithStreet.  more

Women's Wear Daily|Aug 29, 2014

Wanda Sets China E-commerce Venture

Dalian Wanda Group announced on Friday that it has entered a joint venture with Tencent Holdings to launch an e-commerce venture aimed at becoming the dominant online-to-offline platform in China’s explosive online shopping sector. Franklin Yao, SmithStreet's Managing Partner, said to WWD that One competitive strength Wanda has over Alibaba is its relationships with brands. more

South China Morning Post|Aug 27, 2014

Golden Eagle Profit Down 23.2pc

Mainland department store operator Golden Eagle Retail Group said yesterday that it was in no rush to develop an e-commerce platform despite reporting a 23.2 per cent fall in first-half net profit to 483.8 million yuan. Franklin Yao, SmithStreet Managing Partner, shared his points of view on SCMP.   more

Women's Wear Daily|Aug 26, 2014

The Over 50s in Japan and China

Two of Asia’s largest consumer markets —China and Japan — face the challenge of rapidly aging populations. Franklin Yao, SmithStreet's Managing Partner, talked to journalists on WWD that the elderly are conservative consumers for whom western brands are not so attractive.  more

Jing Daily|Aug 25, 2014

Infographic: How Chinese Fashionistas’ Closets Differ In Tier 1 And 2 Cities

SmithStreet's infographic "What's Inside Chinese Fashionistas' Wardrobe" illustrating Chinese fashionistas' favorite luxury brands in different cities in China was quoted by Jing Daily on August 25, 2014.  more

Bloomberg News|Aug 21, 2014

China Fashionistas Get Best Deals on Gucci, Hermes Bling: Retail

Luxury brands are resorting to price-cutting to deal with stacks of unsold merchandise in their stores in Mainland of China. Franklin Yao, SmithStreet's Managing Partner, shared his insights on Bloomberg, “even during the financial crisis, I don’t think we saw this amount of discounting. Inventory has become an issue for brands across the board, and this is a big problem.” more

Bloomberg News|Jul 22, 2014

China To Check Eateries Sourcing Meat From Yum’s Vendor

After the "Shanghai Husi scandal", China ordered nationwide spot checks on restaurants that sourced meat from a U.S.-owned Chinese supplier to McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Yum! Brands Inc. (YUM). James Button, SmithStreet Director, shared his insights on Bloomberg News that under pressure, restaurants are to take direct control of supply chains in the future.  more

South China Morning Post|Jul 21, 2014

McDonald's KFC Launch Probe After China Supplier Used Rotten Meat In Fast-food Products

Fast-food chains McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut have suspended orders from a Shanghai-based supplier after allegations that the company was using rotten meat to make fast-food products. James Button, SmithStreet Director, said on SCMP that this scandal will make it more difficult for international fast food brands to compete for customers in China. more

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
Connect with SmithStreet
In the News

Consumer Goods|May 22, 2017

China Will Allow U.S. Beef Imports

Luxury|May 11, 2017

China's Return to Great Retail Service

Reuters|Nov 18, 2016

New Look Seeks Fashion Edge in China with Local Designs

Bloomberg|Jul 18, 2016

Nestle Seeks China Turnaround Online as Competitors Abound

German Chamber|Jun 16, 2016

A Middle-Class Force Awakens

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