China / Business

Dior opens market on WeChat with luxury handbags

By Zhu Wenqian (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2016-08-07 14:25

Christian Dior, the French luxury brand, has become the first to sell top-end bags on WeChat, the Chinese messaging and social networking app.

The company posted its limited-edition Lady Dior bag on Aug 1 ahead of Qixi, the Chinese version of Valentine's Day, which this year falls on Aug 9.

Dior originally aimed for the sale to last from Aug 1 to 4, but the bags were sold out within a day.

For this limited edition, priced at 28,000 yuan ($4,220; 3,760 euros), consumers were able to choose the decorations they wanted on the bag, tailoring it their own design. Buyers could then complete payment using the WeChat app.

"Since luxury brands can find target consumers through big data from WeChat, the largest social network in China, it's easier for them to advertise and sell products on the platform," says Lu Zhenwang, an internet expert and chief executive of Wanqing Consultancy in Shanghai.

"Many luxury brands are operating under pressure, and they would like to open up the market through e-commerce platforms. Even if the sales are slow, they can achieve results through marketing and branding."

Other luxury brands - including Cartier, International Watch Co, Montblanc and Longchamp - have also launched online sales platforms on WeChat, offering sales, service and discounts.

According to the 2015 China Luxury Forecast by global public relations firm Ruder Finn Inc and Ipsos Group Co, a Paris-based market research group, 36 percent of Chinese are happy to buy luxury products online, rising 24 percent on the previous year.

Dior is under pressure globally. In the first half of 2016, the fashion house and luxury retailer announced its net profits had fallen 30.2 percent to 74 million euros ($82.9 million).

 Dior opens market on WeChat with luxury handbags

A Christian Dior outlet in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Provided to China Daily

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