To celebrate the 100th year of the company's SLG Savoir Faire bag collection, Louis Vuitton has called on British artist Billie Achilleos to create a zoo display in the new Wuhan store. The anniversary exhibition features iconic bags crafted into 23 animal sculptures, highlighting the brand's classic logo.
Louis Vuitton's strategic guidance for the year spoke directly to fighting logo fatigue by appealing to their first-tier customers through the Alma logo-free handbag collection and cutting back global store expansion. However, it is second-tier Chinese cities that continue to present opportunities for luxury retailers and both domestic- and international-property developers. The consumer base in these cities have less opportunity to luxury travel shopping in Europe and Hong Kong.
Over the past 10 years, developers have already built over 20 million square meters of shopping centres in 14 major cities, according to the CBRE group, with 15 million square meters still on the way. Regarding China's retail vacancy issue, Knight Frank an international property consultancy said: "building shopping space that fits consumer demand has always been a problem, and many retailers still deal with finding high-quality mall space. In top-tier cities like Shanghai, there are lots of options, but in second-tier cities there might only be one or two good options."
Despite major developments in shopping space, vacancy has remained a major issue until recently. A second wave of international luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, who still has a high inclination towards brick-and-mortar expansion, have moved into the Wuhan shopping area, with Prada and Fendi planning openings there next year. The Travelling Curiosities display by Achilleos demonstrates that LV is once again recognizing the importance of the second- and third-tier customer after lower than expected quarterly results.