Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon plans to open up to 50 stores in China over the next five years in what she has dubbed an “exciting” market for high-end goods.
China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury products and an ongoing economic boom is creating new billionaires every year in a huge explosion of wealth.
Jimmy Choo currently has just two shops in China — one in Beijing and another in Shanghai. A third will open at the end of the year in the eastern city of Nanjing.
“Our (China) business has increased 100 percent (in terms of profits) in the last year on the existing locations we have,” said Mellon.
She said the British firm would open at least 30 stores in China by 2016. “But the potential over the next five years could be up to 50,” she told AFP.
In comparison, Jimmy Choo has just 40 stores across the United States.
Forbes magazine said earlier this month that China had a total of 146 billionaires this year — up 14 percent from 2010, and second only to the United States with 413.
The brokerage firm CLSA said that China would account for 44% of worldwide sales of luxury goods by 2020 — bigger than the entire global market is now.
Mellon said that many of China’s rich were only in their 30s and 40s — relatively young compared with other markets.
“The wealth here is… very young, which is great because they love luxury, they love fashion, so this is a very exciting market.”
She said that consumers of luxury products have also changed over the past few years.
“What we found a few years ago was that… men were making money, men were buying brands, they were shopping. Men’s brands did phenomenally well much sooner than women’s brands,” she said.
“Now, there are a lot more women who are working and who are shopping. The market is really taking off now.”