IN THE NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wall Street Journal|Oct 09, 2013

Yum Concedes Missteps in China

A lack of innovation and other missteps by Yum Brands Inc. in China are accelerating the slide of what was long one of the most successful foreign businesses in the world’s biggest emerging market. "When Yum's growth slowed in the U.S., it looked to China and now they've been riding this growth wave for such a long time that they haven't had to innovate," said James Button on Wall Street Journal, a senior manager at SmithStreet. more

Wall Street Journal|Sep 05, 2013

Lego Revenue Rises, Buoyed by Demand From Asia

With a 35% growth in sales to customers in Asia, Lego has been betting on the ability to appeal to Asian children as their parents pay more attention on toys and playtime. James Button shares his insights into Lego's efforts in China. more

Wall Street Journal|Sep 04, 2013

In China, Veil Begins to Lift on High Consumer Prices

Discussing Chinese consumers’ response to high product prices at home, James Button suggests that they would compare overseas prices with what they see in China-based stores and wait to buy goods when abroad. more

Wall Street Journal|Sep 04, 2013

Chart: The Extra-Caffeinated Cost of a Starbucks Latte in China

SmithStreet depict what goes into the extra-caffeinated cost of a Starbucks grande latte in China, providing a better understanding of "China Price". more

Wall Street Journal|Aug 06, 2013

China Uses Dairy Scare to Help Domestic Firms

Fonterra's recall will certainly have a negative impact on New Zealand dairy products. However, it would be difficult for Chinese consumers to switch back to domestic brands even under the circumstances. more

Wall Street Journal|Jul 12, 2013

Johnnie Walker’s Bruce Lee Video: Tasteless Ad or Brilliant Marketing?

The vast majority of whisky in China is consumed at karaoke clubs between large groups of friends. By contrast, in the West it is more commonly consumed at home and in private. As a result, the Chinese whisky-drinking crowd is much more youthful – and female – than in the West. more

Wall Street Journal|Jul 08, 2013

Swatch Keeps Grip on China's Bling Ring

The most prominent Swatch’s advantages in China is that it sells a wide price range of products, which enables the less-wealthy shoppers to make a purchase on these less pricy yet fine quality watches, while many of other fancy watch brands failed to provide enough products specific for the rising middle-class. more

Wall Street Journal|Jun 28, 2013

Tell Victoria's Secret Far and Wide

With the sales slowed down, L Brands, owner of lingerie queen Victoria's Secret, can leverage its labels to expand by taking market share in China and Europe. Victoria's Secret is one of China's most desired brands, says Franklin Yao, CEO of Smith Street. more

Wall Street Journal|May 16, 2013

With No Time Left to Lose, Richemont Needs a Close Watch

The sales for Richemont's luxury watches is falling recently due to the change of consumption concepts. Franklin shared his opinions about such declining, and this may be helpful to the investors to further observe the industrial situation. more

Wall Street Journal|Apr 16, 2013

Louis Vuitton's China Problem

Louis Vuitton’s recent decision to increase their prices in Europe was the resulting slowing of revenue growth, and in relation to purchases by Chinese tourists abroad. more

Wall Street Journal|Jul 31, 2012

J.Crew Brings Its Brand to China

U.S.-based clothing retailers such as Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. have fared well with Chinese consumers, who have been looking for midrange, high-quality clothing, including from European brands Zara and H&M. J.Crew must compete with dozens of midtier international clothing names already in the market. SmithStreet Managing Partner Franklin Yao shared his insights with Wall Street Journal. more

Wall Street Journal|Jan 23, 2012

Coach's Shares Should Remain in Fashion

While many high-end retail companies have experienced slower and rockier growth, Coach has presented a different growth story due largely to its acute sensitivity to consumer demand. Its success has also relied on its effective penetration into the China market, where the rising middle class was estimated to have accounted for roughly 10% of Coach's total revenues this last fiscal year. more

Wall Street Journal|Jul 11, 2011

Victoria's Secret Gets out Overseas

Establishment of brand recognition before brick and mortar presents brands like Victoria's Secret with a "soft entry" strategy that slowly and more comfortably acclimates foreign customers to the store and their products and vice versa. more
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