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Fortnum & Mason Sees Chinese Lifestyle Changes Boosting Brands

Royal grocer Fortnum & Mason sees a better work-life stability amongst China’s youthful generations benefitting international client manufacturers.

The storied British retailer accelerated its digital transformation by the coronavirus pandemic and launched in China by way of Alibaba Group’s cross-border digital market Tmall Global in June.

In this video, Fortnum & Mason’s Regional Managing Director APAC Carmen Chui discusses with Zarina Kanji, Head of Business Development for Health & Wellness, and Food for the UK and Nordics at Tmall Global, the newest client traits in China within the run as much as the world’s largest retail occasion, the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

Chui explains why Fortnum determined to develop in China and shares her tips for a clean market entry with different European manufacturers seeking to make the leap into the world’s second-largest retail market.

As Fortnum navigates 11.11 for the primary time, the model is taking a “test & learn” method, responding to buyer information and studying whether or not the product lineup really resonates with the Chinese client.

One of her takeaways is that China’s burgeoning prosperous center class is spending extra money and time on experiences and small luxuries to make life extra pleasing.

“Chinese behaviour is more lifestyle driven and that is giving us confidence about how we positioned ourselves when we entered the market. So definitely that’s the major learning,” mentioned Chui.

European manufacturers are nonetheless very a lot seeking to enter China and Chinese shoppers are very a lot in search of their sorts of merchandise

– Zarina Kanji  Business Development Head Health & Wellness, Food, UK & Nordics, Tmall Global

So far, so good. Fortnum has shot up the rankings in Tmall’s tea class, from over 1,000 when it first launched to 273rd place as of October. Also, 13% of buyers are repeat prospects since launch, at the same time as its focus stays firmly on gaining new prospects and rising model consciousness on this planet’s most populous nation.

There are 70,000 manufacturers collaborating for the primary time within the annual 11.11 pageant, also referred to as Double 11 or Single’s Day, throughout Alibaba’s platforms.

“European brands are still very much looking to enter China and Chinese consumers are very much looking for their types of products,” mentioned Kanji.

There are over 40,000 worldwide manufacturers on Tmall Global promoting to Chinese shoppers on the platform, two-thirds of whom belong to Generation Z and 70% of them are girls, famous Kanji.

Chinese vacationers are having fun with a extra glamourous model of tenting. Photo credit score: Weiquan Lin / Getty


Fortnum is gleaning insights from China, corresponding to tips on how to swiftly spot rising purchasing traits and adapt them its vary of merchandise to go well with native tastes and wishes.

Among these client traits, Chui has encountered is glamping as holiday-makers keep nearer to house throughout the pandemic. Fortnum is providing campers a glamorous array of picnic merchandise in its Tmall Global retailer, from high-end wicker hampers to biscuits.

On November 26, Fortnum will host a picnic for 1,000 households in Shanghai, in collaboration with Wellington College. The British model hopes to smash information for the largest picnic ever and so as to add that additional sprint of glamour, there’ll, after all, be loads of Fortnum’s glowing tea and hampers seen on the College grounds.

“Online and offline are inseparable,” mentioned Chui.

The family-owned enterprise can be making the most of the newest advertising instruments, gearing as much as livestream demonstrations from its cooks, tearistas, sommeliers and different occasions, direct to Chinese shoppers by way of Alibaba’s Taobao Live platform.

On November 3, Fortnum livestreamed straight from its flagship Piccadilly retailer in London to Chinese shoppers.

Glamping Fortnum And Mason5.jpg
Glamping in type. Photo credit score: Fortnum & Mason’s

Key Quotes:

Carmen Chiu, Fortnum & Mason’s Regional Managing Director APAC

“Digital is going to be a major pillar in our next five years’ strategy and going onto Tmall Global earlier this year has been amazing journey.”

“In the old days, Double 11 was more like a discount festival, but now…customers are looking for what’s new and what is able to elevate their experience day to day. So, I believe having new products actually drives brand awareness as well riding on such an important festival online.”

Zarina Kanji, Head of Business Development for Health & Wellness, and Food for the UK and Nordics, Tmall Global

“European brands are still very much looking to enter China and Chinese consumers are very much looking for their types of products.”

“Chinese consumers are extremely willing to try beauty and wellness devices for everything from fitness to sleep to beauty.”

“European brands are still very much looking to enter China and Chinese consumers are very much looking for their types of products.”

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