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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2021

Huifeng Bai, Julie McColl and Christopher Moore

From an international retailing perspective, this empirical study aims to examine luxury fashion retailers' changing marketing strategies in China.

1587

Abstract

Purpose

From an international retailing perspective, this empirical study aims to examine luxury fashion retailers' changing marketing strategies in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case studies of 14 luxury fashion retailers, qualitative data were collected via 31 semi-structured executive interviews.

Findings

Both standardised global and localised multinational marketing strategies were found to have initially been employed by luxury fashion retailers entering into China. Subsequently, localised multinational strategies became increasingly important for their post-entry operations and business development, particularly in terms of their product strategies. More specifically, as well as the introduction of Chinese brand names, product design has been adapted according to Chinese market conditions, and product portfolios have been adapted to satisfy regional differences. However, localised product sourcing in China is far less common.

Research limitations/implications

As the findings are generated from China, they may not explain luxury fashion retailers' marketing strategies in other markets. Despite the relatively small sample size, the 14 luxury fashion retailer case studies originate from across a wide range of countries, retail formats and ownership structures and are therefore considered to be varied enough to represent the market.

Practical implications

The study offers practitioners insights into the success that can be generated by the manipulation of marketing strategies, particularly product strategies, within the world's second biggest luxury market.

Originality/value

This paper extends the current international retailing literature by examining and comparing the motives and practices of luxury fashion retailers and the increasing localisation of their marketing strategies in China as they move from initial market entry into their post-entry operations.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2020

Huifeng Bai, Julie McColl, Christopher Moore, Weijing He and Jin Shi

This empirical study, from the international retailing perspective, examines the direction of retailers' further expansion after initial entry into overseas host market in…

1091

Abstract

Purpose

This empirical study, from the international retailing perspective, examines the direction of retailers' further expansion after initial entry into overseas host market in the context of the luxury fashion retail market in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts qualitative multiple case studies.

Findings

After initial entry into China, luxury fashion retailers further expand their retail operations through three directional patterns: cautious, regional and countrywide expansions. The stepwise expansion from tier-1 to tier-2 and tier-3 cities remains popular; however, the importance of the tier system of Chinese cities has been weakened because tier-3 cities in affluent regions are perceived to have more potential than some tier-2 cities in less developed regions. The retailers assess a potential local market through interrelated criteria, including location and strategic importance, economic development, available store locations and staff, a high degree of urbanisation and tourism, debatable favourable policies and offers, and popularity of e- and m-commerce. There is a positive relationship between popularity of e- and m-commerce in a city and the potential of that city to run brick-and-mortar stores.

Originality/value

The paper offers an insight into the current international retailing literature by examining the direction of luxury fashion retailers' further expansion after their initial market entry. Particularly, the research considers a set of criteria which can be used to assess a potential local market, and the impact of e- and m-commerce on local market choices for brick-and-mortar stores.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 November 2017

Huifeng Bai, Julie McColl and Christopher Moore

The purpose of this paper is to examine internationalising luxury fashion retailers’ entry and post-entry expansion strategies in mainland China.

6084

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine internationalising luxury fashion retailers’ entry and post-entry expansion strategies in mainland China.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a pragmatic mixed-methods research approach, including a quantitative mail survey and qualitative face-to-face in-depth executive interviews.

Findings

Different from initial single entry methods, multiple methods are increasingly popular for luxury fashion retailers’ post-entry expansion in mainland China. Although directly controlled expansion strategies have become significant, local partnerships are still important and omnichannel distribution strategies are rapidly growing.

Research limitations/implications

The findings were generated in mainland China only.

Originality/value

This work provides an understanding of luxury fashion retailers’ activities in the Chinese market from both macro and micro perspectives. It examines luxury fashion retailers’ initial entry strategies, as well as their post-entry expansion strategies in mainland China. Few studies in the area of international luxury fashion retailing have employed a mixed-methods approach with this number of participants.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 45 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Pradeep Kautish, Arpita Khare and Rajesh Sharma

This paper aims to examine the relationships among two distinct yet interconnected forms of value orientations, namely, terminal and instrumental values, brand…

3210

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationships among two distinct yet interconnected forms of value orientations, namely, terminal and instrumental values, brand consciousness and behavioral intentions. This study validated the conceptual model for branded fashion apparel consumption in an emerging market, e.g. India.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design followed a two-step approach to test the measurement and structural models for partial least squares structural equation modeling with SmartPLS (v.3.0) as recommended by Anderson and Gerbing (1988).

Findings

The results illustrated that both the instrumental and terminal values influence brand consciousness and, consequently, brand consciousness had an impact on behavioral intentions for fashion apparel consumption. Instrumental values had a greater influence on brand consciousness and behavioral intentions than terminal values. Brand consciousness mediated the relationship between instrumental/terminal values and behavioral intentions.

Research limitations/implications

This study defined two value orientations (i.e. instrumental versus terminal) using cross-sectional data from an emerging market. Future studies may examine the research findings’ generalizability using diverse data sets (longitudinal and cross-sectional) and evaluate the value orientation and customers’ favorable behavioral intentions for luxury fashion consumption.

Practical implications

This study provides insights into luxury marketers and practitioners to understand the contribution of instrumental and terminal values on brand consciousness and behavioral intentions for luxury fashion apparel. The findings would assist in developing marketing strategies for an emerging market, i.e. India.

Social implications

With the rapid proliferation of materialism, the Indian market has witnessed the dawn of a new era of luxury fashion acceptance. The research offers evidence that in emerging markets such as India, consumers exhibit value orientation toward luxury brands while holding a sense of fashion involvement in their consumption behavior.

Originality/value

This study is a pioneering attempt to understand the relationships between the value orientation, namely, instrumental and terminal values and their underlying influence on brand consciousness and behavioral intentions toward fashion apparel. Rokeach’s (1973) two-dimensional value dichotomy was adapted to understand luxury apparel consumption in an emerging market context, specifically India.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Jiani Jiang, Bruce A. Huhmann and Michael R. Hyman

The purpose of this paper is to investigate masculinity in Chinese social media marketing for global luxury fashion brands through two studies.

2254

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate masculinity in Chinese social media marketing for global luxury fashion brands through two studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 compares physical characteristics of males in visually oriented US (Instagram) and Chinese (Weibo) social media posts promoting global luxury fashion magazine brands (e.g. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, GQ and Esquire). Study 2 examines the prevalence of and Chinese consumers’ responses (reposts, comments and likes) to different masculinities depicted in luxury fashion brand-sponsored Weibo posts.

Findings

Male portrayals for Chinese audiences feature more characteristics associated with emerging East Asian hybrid masculinities – “Little Fresh Meat” (LFM) and “Old Grilled Meat” (OGM) – than associated with global or regional hegemonic masculinity (i.e. the scholarly Wén and action-oriented Wu). Wén remains common in social media posts for luxury fashion goods, but LFM and OGM engender more consumer responses.

Practical implications

Chinese luxury fashion marketing depicts masculinity more similarly to other East Asian marketing than to Western marketing. Some luxury fashion brands are struggling for acceptance among Chinese youth. Luxury fashion marketers should incorporate hybrid rather than hegemonic masculinities to prompt more favorable responses among Chinese consumers, especially younger female target markets.

Originality/value

Growing female occupational and consumer power and shifting male employment from blue-collar to white-collar jobs have influenced media portrayals of masculinity. Social media marketing for luxury fashion brands demonstrates the prevalence and appeal of hybrid masculinities in China.

Article
Publication date: 23 October 2018

Huifeng Bai, Julie McColl and Christopher Moore

The purpose of this paper is to examine luxury fashion retailers’ ownership structures at their internationalisation strategies in Hong Kong and mainland China.

1525

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine luxury fashion retailers’ ownership structures at their internationalisation strategies in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a pragmatic mixed methods approach, comprising a quantitative mail survey and ten qualitative executive interviews.

Findings

This study found that group-owned luxury fashion retailers usually encounter fewer difficulties when internationalising into mainland China than their individually owned counterparts because of parenting advantage, particularly functional and service support. However, the success of some individually owned brands has demonstrated that branding strategies, management culture, international experience, financial power and local partners’ know-how are as important as parent company support and although the luxury market in mainland China has become developed, many foreign luxury fashion retailers still enter Hong Kong prior to mainland China. However, in relation to post-entry management and expansion strategies, the importance of Hong Kong has weakened because the emergence of capital cities, the growth of the middle class and fewer political restrictions.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are generated in the context of Hong Kong and mainland China, they are therefore limited in explaining luxury fashion retailers’ internationalisation strategies in other markets. Despite the challenge of the sample size, 63 out of 130 survey respondents (48.5 per cent response rate) and ten interview participants are felt to be sufficient to represent the market.

Practical implications

This research can be used by practitioners when assessing appropriate entry strategies to the Chinese luxury fashion market.

Originality/value

This is a pioneering study of the Chinese luxury market from the perspective of international retail strategies. It differentiates between Greater China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and mainland China, and examines the impact of luxury fashion retailers’ ownership structures on their internationalisation strategies.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 46 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 August 2019

Jacqueline Campos Franco, Dildar Hussain and Rod McColl

The purpose of this paper is to highlight critical sustainability challenges facing luxury fashion firms and to describe examples of best practice in responding to these…

6685

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight critical sustainability challenges facing luxury fashion firms and to describe examples of best practice in responding to these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach combines a detailed literature review with multiple-case examples. The paper adopts the triple bottom line framework for structuring the analysis and findings, which suggests reporting sustainability efforts in three categories of actions – social, environmental and economic.

Findings

Prior research suggests that luxury fashion marketing and principles of sustainability may represent contradictory philosophies. However, this paper of case examples suggests that this may no longer be the case. We identify six lessons in guiding future sustainability practices.

Practical implications

The findings have implications for managers operating in luxury fashion, but the findings are also pertinent to managers in other industries.

Originality/value

Prior research in luxury fashion has generally focused on the industry’s poor record in sustainability and how luxury and sustainability may be incompatible. In this paper, we conclude that most luxury fashion firms are aware of the need to integrate sustainability into their business models. By uncovering examples of best practice in sustainability, we demonstrate how luxury fashion firms have responded to these challenges with lessons for other industry sectors.

Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Christopher M. Moore, Anne Marie Doherty and Stephen A. Doyle

Employing the qualitative method, this paper sets out to investigate the role and function of flagship stores as a market entry mechanism employed by luxury fashion retailers.

30480

Abstract

Purpose

Employing the qualitative method, this paper sets out to investigate the role and function of flagship stores as a market entry mechanism employed by luxury fashion retailers.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs an interpretive research position, utilising qualitative techniques in the form of semi‐structured interviews with élite informants. In total, 12 luxury fashion retailers form the empirical focus of the work.

Findings

The paper identifies the defining characteristics of luxury retailers' flagship stores. It finds that luxury flagship stores represent a strategic approach to market entry that is employed to support, enhance and develop distribution activities within a foreign market. The interdependence of flagship stores and the wholesaling method of distribution is highlighted. The importance of the flagship store in reinforcing and enhancing the retailer's luxury status and enhancing and maintaining relationships not only with customers but also with distribution partners and the fashion media is found to be significant.

Practical implications

The paper provides practical information to luxury retailers on the role and importance of flagship stores as a method of entering international markets.

Originality/value

Flagship stores are a pivotal aspect of any luxury fashion retailer's internationalisation strategy. For the first time in the literature, the paper provides insights into their form and function and an understanding of why they are crucial to the international development of luxury retailers despite their prohibitively high cost.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Huifeng Bai, Weijing He, Jin Shi, Julie McColl and Christopher Moore

This empirical research, adopting an international retailing perspective, aims to examine the parenting advantages offered by emerging market multinationals (EMNCs) in…

Abstract

Purpose

This empirical research, adopting an international retailing perspective, aims to examine the parenting advantages offered by emerging market multinationals (EMNCs) in luxury fashion retail sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers adopted a qualitative case study, and the qualitative data were collected through ten semi-structured interviews with senior managers.

Findings

It is a win–win situation for the EMNCs as parent groups of Western luxury fashion brands, as the EMNCs can access critical assets including advanced brand management expertise, retailing know-how, and the services skills needed for higher income consumers. Meanwhile, the subsidiary brands benefit from a high degree of autonomy, intra-group resource utilisation, a competitive brand portfolio and most importantly economies of scales in the value chain, particularly in production. The perceived risks of EMNCs ownership include potentially restricted autonomy and the uncertainty over corporate development activities in the future, as well as the risks of diluting brand image caused by the inconsistency between country of origin and country of ownership.

Research limitations/implications

Very few EMNCs have moved into luxury fashion retailing to date, which means that the sampling frame was small. The findings were generated from China, which is perceived to be of considerable psychic distance in terms of culture and policies compared to other emerging markets that have been heavily influenced by colonialism.

Practical implications

This paper suggests that practitioners, particularly EMNCs, support their subsidiary luxury fashion brands through parenting advantages and develop their own high-end fashion brands through internationalisation.

Originality/value

This empirical study contributes to the current international retailing literature by offering in depth insights of parenting advantages offered by EMNCs in luxury fashion retailing. It also enriches the EMNC literature, which has mainly adopted an international business scope, by extending this understanding into luxury fashion retailing.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2009

Ling Gao, Marjorie J.T. Norton, Zhi‐ming Zhang and Chester Kin‐man To

The purpose of this paper is to investigate market segmentation of affluent Chinese consumers and develop profiles of identified segments for potential target markets for…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate market segmentation of affluent Chinese consumers and develop profiles of identified segments for potential target markets for luxury fashion goods.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are from the 2006 edition of an annual survey called the “China's New Rich Study”. The respondents form a representative sample of affluent consumers, 18 to 45 years old, residing in China's 12 largest cities. A psychographic segmentation approach is employed to classify these consumers.

Findings

Five distinct market segments of affluent Chinese consumers are identified and profiled. Of these segments, three seem the most promising target markets for luxury fashion goods.

Practical implications

When companies understand the similarities and differences between consumer segments as well as the unique characteristics of segments, they have a meaningful basis for selecting receptive target markets and formulating and implementing effective marketing strategies. The findings of this study can be useful not only to companies that offer luxury fashion goods, but also to those targeting the upscale market with a plethora of products and services like yachts, luxury cars, high‐end electronics, resort vacations, and credit cards and other financial services.

Originality/value

This is the first study on segmentation of Chinese consumers for potential target markets for luxury fashion goods. Results reveal heterogeneity among affluent urban Chinese consumers. Strategies for marketing luxury fashion goods to promising target markets in China are outlined on the basis of segment profiles and culturally based motivations for purchasing such goods.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

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