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9 Jan

Hermès Reopens Nanjing Store With Lion Dance, Taoist Ritual

SHANGHAI — As a substitute of hosting a star-studded ribbon-cutting event, Hermès launched its Nanjing store last Sunday with an auspicious ceremony featuring a Taoist priest.

Initially opened in 2010, the brand new store inside Deji Plaza in Nanjing takes up a more distinguished location spread over two floors. A component of the storefront was previously occupied by Dolce & Gabanna.

Designed by longtime Hermès collaborator, the Parisian architecture firm RDAI, the shop highlights the colour beige, which defines town that served because the capital of assorted Chinese dynasties, and the colour indigo, echoing the local Nankeen dyeing tradition. The shop’s facade is enveloped by Champagne-colored glass that imitates Hermès’ iconic mosaic motif.

Contained in the Hermès Nanjing Store

The shop’s interiors highlight locally sourced materials, with the ground, staircase and the marquetry of the jewellery and watches section covered in bamboo. A handwoven carpet is inspired by a neighborhood stone called “rain flower,” while display shelves for leather goods are decorated with woven wicker.

Contained in the Hermès Nanjing Store

As Hermès’ twenty seventh store in China, the shop features the brand’s full range of products, including men’s and girls’s ready-to-wear, perfume, beauty, fashion jewelry, and residential objects. In line with Hermès, the shop is “a testament to Hermès’ confidence within the Chinese market.”

To inaugurate the opening of the shop and bestow luck upon the reopened store, Hermès hosted a Taoism ritual with a dragon and lion dance performance.

The Taoist priest, wearing a yellow robe and a standard headpiece, recited specific passages while holding burning incense, then kneeled before a table filled with auspicious offerings to worship the god of wealth, in response to images and videos posted on Chinese social media.

Image and video uploaded on Xiaohongshu shows the Taoism ritual hosted in front of the Hermès Nanjing Store store.

The extensive ritual was widely discussed by Chinese netizens online, but Deji Plaza staff said the ceremony was only “standard practice for store openings” and a display of Chinese traditions, in response to local media outlets. After the ceremony, lines quickly formed outside the shop as town’s high-net-worth individuals rushed to secure a much-coveted Hermès handbag.

In line with industry insiders, hosting auspicious rituals became more common amongst retailers as stores grappled with market uncertainty resulting from the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, when SKP Chengdu opened last December, greater than a dozen luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Celine, Gucci and Tom Ford hosted similar rituals.

With COVID-19 out of the image, Barclays projects that China will get better from the COVID-19 pandemic before expected. In line with Barclays’ research, the Chinese luxury market will grow by 15 percent in 2023.

Despite temporary store closures in 2022, Hermès saw sustained demand for the brands’ leather goods in mainland China which helped boost global leather goods sales by 13.2 percent within the third quarter.

Hermès doubled down on the Chinese market last 12 months with a Wuhan store upgrade and two latest stores in Zhengzhou and Shanghai. This 12 months, Hermès plans to open three to 4 latest stores or upgrade existing ones.

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