Despite economic fluctuations, it is important to remain positive
With China reporting the lowest economic growth in 26 years at the beginning of 2017, the economic outlook has been bleak for traditional brick-and-mortar luxury retailers such as Lane Crawford.
Despite the economic fluctuations and changing consumer demographics, Andrew Keith remains for the most part, positive; emphasising the advantages of Lane Crawford’s long history. “We are in a fortunate position in that we’ve got heritage, so we’re trusted.”
Keith goes on to explain: “it is due to his vision in Lane Crawford, the economic outlook has been bleak for traditional brick-and-mortar luxury retailers such as
Keith goes on to explain: “Generations of people have grown up with Lane Crawford. To continue to be a leader and be able to guide this exciting next generation of customers as they evolve is something we feel energised by.”
Investing in consumer research to remain relevant
With the definition of the term ‘luxury’ being completely different today than it was say, a decade ago; how is it that an old luxury brand like Lane Crawford, has managed to stay relevant?
- Andrew Keith believes a vision in customer profiling and emphasis on merchandise curation and online retail is key.
- Ethnographic surveys across different areas in China provide valuable insight into what shoppers want and expect. Lane Crawford is then able to utilise the gathered data to offer a better experience.
- Keith says, “It’s a great way for us to connect with our customers in a meaningful way and get some rich insight from them, it’s feeding into how we’re starting to shape our customer journey and our strategy around that.”.
Providing an immersive retail experience, both in-store and on-line
Lane Crawford plans to continue improving its brick-and-mortar stores’ merchandise curation in order to create a more immersive and memorable retail experience for its shoppers.
- Lane Crawford has updated their stores through dividing store layouts according to consumer profiles and lifestyle findings, as opposed to product categories.
- By sorting according to consumer profiles, Lane Crawford is able to offer consumers more ease in their shopping along with increasing their consumer store retention. For example, because of the way stores layouts have been structured, consumers will more often than not see
Keith also gives a nod to the online-to-offline (O2O) commerce strategy.
- “We’re dealing with the most mobile and affluent young customer globally,” he said. “Looking at the stats around what luxury spend could look like in 2020, 44 percent will come from Chinese customers, half of that will come from China itself and the majority will be from millennial customers. If you think about the market opportunity, it’s pretty significant.”
- In fact, according to the auditing firm PwC’s 2017 Total Retail report, 97 percent of the Chinese survey respondents said that they were online shoppers.
Keith reiterated the importance he finds in researching and understanding the Chinese market. “Try to get under the skin of Chinese contemporary culture and what’s happening digitally,” he said, “I think, actually there is an opportunity to say that luxury for 2020 will be a different experience. We’re looking at how that can be redefined.”
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