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French luxury brand Longchamp eyes Asia market

Luxury brand Longchamp’s history is steeped in French heritage, but few know about the brand’s affinity with the Asian arm of its business.

“A sizeable 25 per cent of our business comes from Asia and 50 percent of our customer base is Asian,” said chief executive officer Jean Cassegrain, 51, in an exclusive interview with The Straits Times while he was in Singapore on a market visit last week.

Describing the Southeast Asian consumer as a “mature luxury shopper”, he said the brand was looking to increase penetration into the region to cater to its loyal customer base.

“Customers here are well educated on luxury, perhaps more so than in [mainland] China and Taiwan, where luxury consumers are more in discovery mode. It just shows the enormous opportunity Southeast Asia still holds for us to grow our business. We are far from reaching our potential in Asia.”

Indeed, Longchamp’s Asian connection goes back a long way – it opened its first flagship store in 1979 in Hong Kong instead of Paris, as one would expect.

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