This morning we had a chance to visit ESPRIT China and meet with an executive who worked both for ESPRIT and Giordano. He had extensive knowledge of clothing retailing in China, and the differences in retail between China and North America. At the visit we discussed market entry and positioning strategies. When entering the Asian Market, companies can either position as a luxury brand in Tier 1 and 2 tier cities, or focus on the less competitive markets in tier 3 and 4 cities. As Esprit is marketing as an affordable premium brand, they chose to position themselves in tier 1 and 2 cities. However, this is one of the most competitive markets to succeed in, which is compounded by how much more selective the Asia Pacific consumer is, as compared to an American consumer. We also had a chance to learn more about logistics, distribution and some of the strategies that Esprit is using to improve their supply chain and leverage e-commerce.
We ended the visit with a chance to take some pictures in the HQ. Edy the Bear especially enjoyed being in such a high fashion environment.
Following our morning visit, we had the chance to explore the mystical and tranquil Yu Garden. The beautiful weather served to help us enjoy the beauty that the garden exuded and allowed us to relax and take in our surroundings after a busy, but exciting few days of company visits. Comprised of refreshing ponds of water dispersed among bridges, rockeries, gazebos, and enchanting archways, the Yu Garden was an endless space that really makes one appreciate the culture and history reflected in its structures.
In contrast to our garden visit in the afternoon, our evening entailed entering the buzzing Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s main shopping street. We recognized many upscale Western brands along the road, giving us a Times Square vibe with the type of tenants occupying space along the road, the colourful advertisements dispersed along it, and the sheer number of people exploring it. The road took us to The Bund, a waterfront promenade providing a superior view of the Huangpu River and the skyscrapers that make up the Pudong District.
We had the opportunity to explore Shanghai for our dinner. A group of us decided to go to hot pot. The meal consisted of 4 flavoured boiling broths in which you could cook a variety of meats and seafoods like lamb, beef, and shrimp. Once the food is cooked you can dip it in a sauce you fashioned yourself at the make-your-own-sauce-station. It was Edy’s favourite Shanghai meal by far!
Blog post submitted by China Study Tour participants Aliya, Helen and Rachel.