China Retail News reports that French luxury house Louis Vuitton has officially confirmed that the company will close two stores located in Shanghai and Shanxi, respectively, by the end of March 2016.
A representative of Louis Vuitton China said that the two stores will no longer operate from April 2016. However, Louis Vuitton has emphasized that the store closure does not mean they will stop their Chinese development strategy and they will continue to invest and expand there this year.
This wouldn’t be a first for Louis Vuitton in China though. According to a report on China’s luxury market in 2015 published by global management consulting company Bain, they closed six stores and opened two new stores in China last year. LVMH has stated in its financial report for the third quarter that due to the continued weakness of Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau markets, its Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, market share continued to shrink.
Last year media outlets reported that Louis Vuitton were set to close stores in the cities of Guangzhou, Harbin and Urumqi, which will leave the brand with about 50 stores in China. So will we see more stores in China close than what has been reported? Only time will tell.
Louis Vuitton isn’t the only luxury house to have been hit by China’s slowing economy. Giorgio Armani, Hermès and Versace are among those to have closed stores in the country over the past couple of years.