In a continuation of the luxury brand land grab written about earlier on the Maosuit, Moncler is the latest high-end brand to debut a flagship store in Beijing’s Sanlitun North Village. The 600 square meter store is Moncler’s biggest to date in China and follows a series of similar openings by brands such as Lanvin, Balenciaga and DSquared.
Of all the new brands opening stores in China, the Maosuit has observed the window displays of Moncler’s stores is outstanding and never fail to draw attention through creative displays of their merchandise mixed with scenes of deep see diving and winter wonderlands etc. (see below). It’s not just the presence of foreign brands but also things like first rate visual merchandising that will raise the standard and sophistication of shopping in China, so well done Moncler!
Although Moncler still has some ground to cover in developing their summer collections, the brand dominates the winter market for designer skiwear. Moncler has done particularly well in Northern China where winters are bitterly cold and their expensive puffy jackets are a hit with wealthy Chinese consumers who often opt for the most expensive brand in any fashion category simply as a status symbol. The strength of their winter collections explains why Moncler has waited until now to open their Beijing flagship, as even though its still 30+ degrees and up to 90% humidity in Beijing it is now the time for all retailers to begin switching store merchandise to their fall/winter lines.
Moncler was founded in France in 1952 and now operates out of Milan, in 2010 it had sales of EUR 429 million. A 2011 IPO was slated for the Milan stock exchange until June when Eurazeo stepped in and bought 45% of the company for EUR 418 million. With this new cash injection Moncler will give special focus to China with intentions to open another flagship store in Shanghai and other stores in multiple second tier cities.
Unfortunately, Moncler’s popularity has also made them a prime victim for counterfeiting and during winter fake Moncler jackets can be found throughout China in abundance. Hopefully for Moncler the opening of their flagship store containing their full range of products will attract consumers away from the counterfeits to the real thing.