First Chinese Topshop to open in Shanghai this autumn
Better late than never. Some time after Topshop and Topman were expected to make their first foray into China, and over a year after signing a deal to enter the country, the British fast fashion chains will set foot in Shanghai.
The Arcadia-owned labels’ first Chinese flagship will be on Huaihai Middle Road in the country’s premier shopping city and will cover a 3,400 sq m space over three floors. Work has already started on the premises with the store expected to open this September.
The brand is only directly available via its webstore in mainland China at the moment, although it has been sold in the Galeries Lafayette department store in Beijing and it has two Hong Kong stores.
This move into mainland standalones makes it a relatively latecomer to the country and puts it behind some of its biggest fast fashion rivals in entering what is potentially the world’s biggest fashion market.
Concrete news of its Shanghai opening plans comes after it said in late 2016 that it had signed a deal with e-tail giant Shangpin.com to open physical stores in China. It was reported at the time to be planning up to 80 stores eventually and there had been early expectations that the first stores would have opened last year. But Arcadia chief Sir Philip Green said that spring/summer this year was the target date.
While the timetable is clearly lagging his original aim, that’s not really surprising. Topshop had plenty on its plate to deal with in its international business last year, including the failure of its franchised Australia and New Zealand operations and also its Spanish store closures.
What those experiences made very clear is that it’s vitally important to get the product right for the market rather than just depending on the power of the brand name to carry you through.
But opening in China certainly makes good commercial sense. Last year an AT Kearney report said the country was second only to India in terms of retail investment due to the sheer size of its consumer market that makes it hugely attractive to international businesses.
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