Beijing is Keane on Burberry and ASOS Soars

April 14, 2011

The UK based fashion retailer hosted a mammoth opening party in Beijing on Wednesday – and it seems to have been a success, with many Chinese men and women eager to get their hands on the iconic label.

British band Keane headlined what was more of a concert than your standard opening party. The event was held on a 21,500 square ft stage, one that’s usually used to film Chinese TV shows, which are then broadcast to more than 90m people on a day-to-day basis.

With almost 1,000 guests at the showcase ceremony, there was a chance for Burberry to spread the news to a wide audience, included amongst them were; shoppers, local VIPs, dignitaries, suppliers and staff.

But it didn’t stop at musical performances, Burberry went all out with this one, to the extent of floor-to-ceiling videos of what they have to offer, and even projected holographic models who exploded into a cloud of dust halfway down the catwalk.

Christopher Bailey, the company’s director described the quite phenomenal event as being “magical”.

Burberry are said to be investing $40m in emerging markets this year, some of that on digital upgrades, explained Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of the U.K. luxury fashion house.

It’s a structured plan that will see all staff in the Chinese stores equipped with Apple’s iPads, as well as other touch screen devices for the customers.

They intend to use a common language – digital, as a means of interacting and engaging with consumers. Ms. Ahrendts said: “We want to connect with them in stores the same way we do elsewhere, giving consumers full access to buy what they want, however they want.”

It’s obvious as to why Burberry is looking to imbed itself in the Chinese luxury goods market, as it’s the fastest growing in the world.  Forecasts estimate that spending on luxury goods in China will grow from £6.2bn in 2009 to £17bn by 2015.

That being said, the showcase that Burberry staged, no doubt impressed those that were there, looks to be a healthy investment. If Burberry takes a small proportion of that market then it will be worth it – they may become a leading brand in China which will propel them to global status as the luxury good to have.

A bold move, but looking at the factors, it seems to be a masterminded retail strategy.

In other news…

Online shoppers boost fashion retailer Asos’ sales by a whopping 70pc!

We’re all aware of the growth in Internet shopping as opposed to high street spending, and Asos have profited heavily from this.

Total sales in the three months to the end of March increased 70pc to £93.4m; they also accelerated 59pc the three months previous to that.

As a result shares took a 15pc increase to £19.63.

The time has most certainly come for retailers to seriously consider the web as a primary source of trading.