Chinese APPs|Free Lunch|Apr 24, 2017

Chinese APPs You Should Know About (Updated)

Chinese consumers use APPs designed in China for Chinese consumer needs for virtually everything. This includes online purchasing, sending messages, booking movie tickets, planning a trip and ordering meals (as a start). When trying to understand the Chinese consumer it is important to understand how these APPs work and why they are successful. more

E-commerce, Luxury|Free Lunch|Apr 11, 2017

Ecommerce and Luxury

In 2016 we saw many luxury brands expand into the ecommerce space and as the year of the rooster unfolds we will expect to see more. As consumers adjust to purchasing online and their level of comfort in these purchases continues to grow luxury brands and categories will continue to expand.more

WeChat|Free Lunch|Jan 06, 2017

Searching for WeChat Articles

Anyone who is involved in marketing to Chinese consumers knows just how important WeChat is to building brand recognition and activating consumer engagement. With China being mobile first and WeChat first, in many ways, we tend to see the WeChat system as a closed loop (i.e. if your not on the WeChat platform itself you can't have access to its content). But there is one way for those of us, who prefer to use our browsers, to check out WeChat posts and articles without being on our mobile device and that is China's 3rd largest search engine, Sogou.

Luxury|Free Lunch|Nov 24, 2016

Airports, a Bastion for Luxury Retail in China

Over the past year we have all heard news that doesn't bode well for retailers in China. Brands are closing stores, growth is slower than we hoped for and, as we have observed at SmithStreet, consumers are trading in luxury goods for luxury experiences. With all that being said, we have some good news to bring you today. Airports and duty free are on the rise, beating the odds and don't look to be slowing down anytime soon.more

Reuters|In the News|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.


E-commerce|Free Lunch|Sep 02, 2016

Coach's First Attempt at Tmall, a Blunder or Strategy?

Within 2 months of opening their store, Coach announced it was closing. The closure raised many eyebrows in the retail industry and speculation ensued. Many beleivng it was due to low sales volume and others thought logistics issues / technical challenges were at the heart of the closure. In an effort to save face, Coach's PR announced that the first month was a trial period and therefore the closure should not be looked at as a failure. 


Advertising|Free Lunch|Aug 18, 2016

How Chinese Companies Advertise on the Streets of China

On Free Lunch we spend a lot of time looking at foreign brands and their approach to digital marketing and ecommerce in China. This week we are going to serve you something a little different. We are going to take a look at Chinese companies and give you a glimpse into how they reach Chinese consumers on the streets of China.more

Generation Z|Free Lunch|Aug 03, 2016

What do you know about China's Generation Z?

China's Generation Z aren't using WeChat; They make their own decisions and have the potential to shake things up on Tmall.more

Chinese Consumers|Free Lunch|Jul 27, 2016

How to get 100,000 Chinese Consumers in Your Store

Starting in March of 2016 Tmall/Taobao launched a live streaming function on their ecommerce platform and have seen a massive buzz generated around the new feature.more

Shopping Mall|Free Lunch|Jul 20, 2016

Parkson is Mixing Things Up to Reach Today's Chinese Consumers

This week we are introducing you to Parkson Core Mall. This mall used to be a traditional Parkson Mall (carrying premium and luxury), but is now mixing it up and experimenting with a new strategy to reach today's Chinese consumers (middle class and millennials). After the mall's transformation Parkson claims their daily traffic is up 800% and daily sales revenue tripled. In their first two days after opening, the mall generated record sales revenue of 23 million RMB.


Bloomberg|In the News|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

Chinese Consumers|Free Lunch|Jul 06, 2016

Do you know how Chinese consumers shop online? (Pt.2)

Chinese consumers believe following celebrity choices for light luxury/luxury brands can help them keep trendy. Michael Kors became well known by Chinese female consumers after a famous actress Gao Yuanyuan's endorsement.more

Brexit|Free Lunch|Jun 29, 2016

Brexit Doesn’t Just Mean More Chinese Tourists, It Means More China Commerce

Earlier today we saw Bloomberg News post an article, Brexit Sends Tourists Flocking to London to ‘Buy, Buy, Buy’ stating, “Searches by Chinese for U.K. holidays 'sky rocketed' on International Ltd.’s travel booking app, the company said, while Chinese news site Phoenix implored visitors to London to ‘Buy, Buy, Buy.’”


Chinese Consumers|Free Lunch|Jun 22, 2016

Do you know how Chinese consumers shop online? (Pt.1)

It is well known that Chinese online consumers search high and low to learn as much as they can about products and brands before they purchase. According to a report by BCG, around 90% of product based online shopping activities are related product education.more

German Chamber|In the News|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.

Middle-class|Free Lunch|Jun 15, 2016

A Middle-Class Force Awakens pt. 3

Gucci recently displayed an exhibit in Shanghai to introduce the influences of Alexander Michele, its critically well-received new designer. The gallery was well-curated and took me through the playful world-view of Alessandro Michele and the work that he is doing at Gucci and put it in context, without directly commercializing the brand. This would be apparent to anybody paying attention carefully.

Middle-class|Free Lunch|Jun 08, 2016

A Middle-Class Force Awakens pt. 2

In 2014 SmithStreet conducted a study for a major luxury conglomerate going into 300 luxury consumer wardrobes across 13 cities in China and talking to luxury spenders on store service, discovering that store service was really great if you were recognized by that store manager as a VIP. If not, you generally received unsatisfactory store service, and this was more pronounced when compared to travelers who have experienced store service abroad.more

Middle-class|Free Lunch|Jun 01, 2016

A Middle-Class Force Awakens

Five years ago we would hear stories about the young, entry-level office receptionist working at a multinational in Shanghai who would save up three months of her salary in order to purchase a Louis Vuitton bag. Those days are long gone, and we now have to understand a new normal for the marketplace for luxury goods in China.more

Retail|Free Lunch|May 19, 2016

3 Chinese Fashion Brands You Should Know About

As we all know Chinese consumers love to shop and hunt for deals. Even as the market changes and evolves Chinese consumers will still be some of the most savvy and sophisticated around the world.more

Luxury and Retail|Free Lunch|Apr 21, 2016

3 Easier Ways to Enter or Grow in China

Over past couple years the Chinese market has become increasingly competitive for luxury and retail brands. This has made official entry into the market a more difficult question for brands a companies to consider. These reasons can range from the cost to operate a flagship store in a premier shopping center to the ability / resources to generate brand interest on social media. This week for free lunch we will be serving 3 "easier" ways for brands begin exploring the China market.more

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