Longchamp looks to China for growth

French handbag label Longchamp sees the China and US markets as key in boosting its global sales.

Facing sluggish traditional European markets, the company is looking to celebrity endorsements and online opportunities to drive growth, according to CEO Jean Cassegrain.

“We’re entering a different phase of growth, it’s no longer about store openings but about improving the performance of our current network,” Cassegrain said in an interview.

China is already Longchamp’s second biggest market, behind France, where turnover took a hit as tourist numbers dived in the wake of terror attacks on Paris in 2015.

However Cassegrain said in the interview he expected the privately owned company would outperform the wider luxury industry by next year.

While the firm does not traditionally reveal sales or profit data, it did report sales of US$658.11 million in 2015 and independent analysts estimate turnover remains close to that.

Longchamp China currently sells products through Tencent’s WeChat social media platform with the brand planning its own direct e-commerce platform soon.

In the US it plans to open several more stores within the next 12 months, but beyond that believes its global retail footprint is relatively mature.


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