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Dec 21, 2015
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Dior opens its largest store in China, in Beijing

By
AFP
Published
Dec 21, 2015

On Monday, Dior opened a lavish flagship store in Beijing, currently its largest in China, where the fashion label is upholding its image and affirms it maintains a strong position, despite a marked slowdown in the economy and the luxury goods sector.

The façade of Dior's store - Bakas Algirdas


Located inside a shopping mall in the business district, the huge Dior store extends over two levels, with interiors designed by US architect Peter Marino, and on Monday it welcomed its first customers, following an inauguration with all the trimmings during the weekend.

Dior now operates three stores in the Chinese capital, and about twenty in the rest of the country - excluding the Dior Homme stores.

Interiors of the new Dior flagship store in Beijing - Bakas Algirdas


"In terms of numbers, our store network remains stable, but we're increasing the retail surface and making improvements," Sidney Toledano, Dior's CEO, explained to AFP, mentioning other extensions in Dalian and Harbin (in the North-West). These projects are justified by "product range expansion", notably in ready-to-wear apparel, and the need to have "more spacious fitting rooms."

The idea is to offer a better response to the expectations of a more discerning and volatile clientèle, now that the luxury goods and fashion sectors in China are experiencing a major cooling-down, given the awkward economic situation.

The news in mid-November of the closing down of a large Louis Vuitton store in Guangzhou (in the South) caused some perturbation, even if the LVMH group at the time pleaded an "optimisation strategy for its Chinese network."


This is a majestic Dior store - Bakas Algirdas


With the economy's slowdown and a persisting anti-corruption campaign in the background, luxury goods sales are likely to decline between 2% and 4% in 2015 in mainland China, after already shrinking last year, according to consultancy firm Bain & Co.

"This remains a major market, where we're constantly growing," insisted Sidney Toledano however, even if "double-digit growth must not be expected here," and given that in China there will occur a "selection" in favour of certain brands.

Following the opening of its new store, Dior presented its Spring-Summer 2016 collection on Saturday night in Beijing.
 

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