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Case Title:

Shanghai Tang: Taking Chinese Fashion to the World

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Doris John

Industry: Retailing

Region:China

Case Code: MES0085C

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:
Shanghai Tang’ (Tang) was the first Chinese luxury brand in the global fashion market. With “Made by Chinese” as its tagline, Shanghai Tang had made inroads into the fashion capitals of the world such as London, Paris and Milan ever since it came into being in the 1990s and had established itself, with reasonable success as a Chinese luxury brand. In 1998, Richemont, the Swiss-based luxury-brands company, acquired a majority stake in Tang. Post-acquisition its Executive Chairman Raphael le Masne de Chermont and its Marketing and Creative Director Joanne Ooi chalked out strategies that led to the revival of the brand.

Drawing plans for its future, Tang decided to concentrate on the Asian markets which contributed to the majority of its sales. However, the Chinese luxury market, the third largest in the world, was competitive and demanding. It had been tapped by major fashion labels such as Prada, Armani, Hugo Boss and Gucci which were well established in China and were preferred by most high end Chinese customers. While fashion critics felt that Tang’s offerings still lacked the truly international touch, Tang’s chairman Chermont was positive about the brand saying that it would establish itself as a world class label. The issues highlighted in the case are whether Tang could i) establish itself in its home market ii) grow into a ‘truly global Chinese brand’ iii) achieve this.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To emphasise the challenges faced by a newly launched luxury brand in a competitive environment
  • To discuss the issues involved in building a global fashion brand.

Keywords : Shanghai Tang (Tang), Richemont, fashion industry, Chinese luxury goods market, Ethnic fashion, Global Vs local, promotionals, marketing, Marketing Strategies Case Study, US fashion market, turnaround, fashion designing, consumer behavior, competition, Chinese fashion industry

Contents : 
The turnaround
Logo of Shanghai Tang
Shanghai Tang’s store in Hong Kong
Number of outlets of various brands of Richemont
Some new designs of Tang
Profile of Shanghai Tang’s competitors
Salient findings from KPMG’s report on ‘Luxury Brands in China’

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