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Italy's RDM Group opens first outlet in China
By Li Woke ( China Daily )

Italy's RDM Group opens first outlet in China

Shoppers pass a billboard advertising a luxury brand in Beijing. The World Luxury Association forecasts China will become the largest luxury-goods market by 2020. [Photo / China Daily] 

TIANJIN - The Italian luxury real estate developer and fashion retailer RDM Group opened its first outlet store in China on Thursday, in partnership with the US Waitex Group, amid the country's enthusiasm for buying luxury goods.

The store, Florentia Village, located in Wuqing, which lies between Beijing and Tianjin, is the first Chinese development in RDM's international portfolio of retail assets. The investment totaled more than 1 billion yuan ($154.4 million).

"We chose to launch our first China outlet under the brand name Florentia Village in Wuqing because of its potential to attract a new generation of stylish Chinese consumers with fast-growing disposable income in the luxury sector," said Ivano Poma, chairman and chief executive officer of Florentia Village and managing director of RDM Asia.

The development will house nearly 200 international fashion brands by the end of the year, including Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bulgari, Tod's, Versace, Burberry, Celine, Zegna and Gucci. The internationally renowned brands will sell at discounted prices averaging 50 percent and as much as 70 percent off normal domestic retail prices.

"We are excited to bring many famous Italian brands into an outlet center in China for the first time, with guaranteed affordable prices year round. Our aim is to establish Florentia Village as a retail landmark for design, fashion and business success in China, by offering an authentic Italian outlet experience and unparalleled world-class management," said Poma.

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In addition to the Florentia Village, the RDM Group is planning to develop another three to four Florentia Village centers within the next four years, investing up to 5 billion yuan. RDM will focus its attention on first-tier Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing.

Over recent years, China has been a hot spot for international labels. The World Luxury Association forecasts China will become the largest luxury-goods market by 2020 and its sales volume will reach $14.6 billion in the next four or five years.

Research from Bain & Company, one of the world's leading business strategy consultancy firms, showed that in 2010, sales of luxury goods increased by 30 percent year-on-year in China, while sales declined in Japan and the US, the world's top two luxury-goods markets.

"Asia is very important to RDM, and China in particular is the most exciting market that we want to be in," said Jacopo Mazzei, chairman and CEO of the RDM Group. "RDM and our partners are confident in the growth potential of China's consumer retail market, and now is the perfect time to begin RDM's China journey."

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