Retail in Asia


High hope for luxury local fashion brands in Shanghai Village

Awarded a prime location in the heart of the Shanghai Village, Chuang x Yi boutique boasts luxury clothing, accessories and furniture at a discounted price. But unlike its counterparts at the designer outlet mall, Chuang x Yi stocks exclusively Chinese brands.

The concept, created by the management at Value Retail Villages, was inspired by the success of similar locally sourced concepts in their other outlet villages across the globe. In London, for example, British designers were brought together for the ‘Best of British’ campaign at Bicester Village designer shopping outlet. However, the Chuang x Yi flagship at Shanghai Village, located just a short walk from Shanghai Disney Resort, is the first permanent boutique of its kind, selling items from a collection of well-known Chinese designers, such as Helen Lee, Ji Cheng, Missy Skins and Babyghost.

Chuang x Yi boutique at Shanghai Village features both up and coming names in the China fashion scene and stalwarts, like leather handbag brand Heirloom.

The store’s slogan ‘Made by China’ is prominently featured in the shop. Group Retail Director for Value Retail, Simon Williamson, said the idea is to move away from the long-standing impression of Made in China as ‘cheap and tacky’ and promote quality, luxury Chinese brands.

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The boutique not only serves to send this message to the consumer, but also aids the local fashion industry in other ways. Cathy You Jia, the business innovation manager at Value Retail China, said, “the store works as a way of liquidizing stock that designers can be left with and unsure what to do with once the new season’s collections come out.” Like the other stores in the outlet mall, Chuang x Yi sells designs from previous seasons, with average discounts ranging from 20 to 30 percent off the full retail price.

Another goal is the acquisition of a larger customer database—95 percent of Chuang x Yi’s customers are new consumers of the Chinese brands on offer. “We want to promote the designers and brands in a way that encourages consumers to go and shop at the full-price stores,” Jia said. “We’re aiming to raise brand awareness to different regions and to different types of customers.”

Alongside this, the store prides itself on offering professional retail management advice to smaller and lesser-known Chinese designer brands.

Although there are no current plans to open stores outside of Value Retail, this isn’t something Chuang x Yi would rule out, with the boutique consistently scoring as one of the highest against Shanghai Village’s international luxury brands on customer feedback evaluations. There is a chance Value Retail itself will expand in Greater China, with possible locations in the works for Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.