Louis Vuitton to open showroom in Shanghai

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Louis Vuitton to open showroom in Shanghai

SHANGHAI Reuters announced on Friday that Louis Vuitton plans to open a dedicated furniture and homewares store in Shanghai, a world first for the French luxury brand, as it tries to expand its lifestyle offerings to affluent Chinese clients.

The appointment-only showroom, which will open on Monday, is located in a century-old three-storey mansion, located just behind Nanjing Road, the city's premier upscale shopping strip.

Louis Vuitton, part of the LVMH, said the showroom will be trialled for several months as a pop-up and will become a permanent feature if successful.

A Louis Vuitton employee said a brightly colored cocoon chair designed by the Campana brothers is priced at more than 700,000 yuan and a small lamp emblazoning a glass milk bottle encased in leather straps costs 10,500 yuan.

A smaller side building is dedicated to showing designs by Frank Chou, the first mainland Chinese designer tapped by Louis Vuitton to collaborate on the Objet Nomades collection, as the furniture and homewares ranges are known.

Luxury brands in China are increasingly important because luxury spending is being pressured by COVID 19 curbs, a property market decline and widespread economic uncertainty.

Louis Vuitton opened a store in the southwestern city of Chengdu last month, which included an exhibition space and restaurant, and dipped its toe into a more lifestyle-oriented offering in China.

LMVH is aiming to reposition itself as a contemporary luxury brand by tapping new avenues that resonate with Chinese Millennials and Gen Z consumers, according to GlobalData consumer analyst Bobby Verghese, whose firm believes sales in China's home sector will grow to $782 billion by 2026.

Verghese sees homewares as a good bet for Louis Vuitton, especially in China.

Verghese said that the Gen Y digital immigrants and Gen Z digital natives are not averse to flaunting their lifestyles on social media, unlike their predecessors who prioritized privacy. The LMVH aims to gain an early-bird advantage in this emerging space.