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Brief Published: 1 Feb 2016

Capitalising on Chinese New Year 2016

Selfridges, CNY

While luxury spending in China itself is decreasing, the appetite for spending away from home has risen by 10% over the past year – 78% of Chinese shoppers continue to buy their premium purchases abroad (Bain & Company, 2016). Chinese shoppers and Chinese New Year (CNY) – which falls on February 8 this year – therefore remain a critical target area.

From personalised gifting to reworked product edits, we highlight the best retail initiatives.

Department Store Drives:

  • US department store chain Bloomingdale’s is hosting events, in-store pop-up shops carrying giftable fashion and accessories edits and art installations in selected outposts. Additionally, it is giving away red envelopes containing special offers and gift-card prizes in denominations of the Chinese lucky number eight ($8, $88, $888).

    The concepts complement permanent tourist-centric strategies including a welcome guidebook in simplified Chinese, and the provision of Mandarin-speaking sales staff on request.
  • American store Lord & Taylor is trading on the premise of ‘new year, new you’ with a beefed-up beauty proposition (new products and beauty sessions). It is also offering complementary red tote bags with every purchase, fortune cookies on all floors, and a CNY fashion edit window display. 
  • British brand Selfridges is hosting a small in-store parade featuring live performances from Chinese musicians. It has also created CNY lucky red gift-card envelopes and is offering fortune cookies throughout the store. Several in-store brands, including fashion labels Coach and Ted Baker and luggage retailer Globe-Trotter, are offering complementary gifts and services for shoppers spending heavily. Gifts include limited-edition notebooks, personalisable gifting envelopes, CNY-themed charms and embossing services for leather products.
  • At its Manchester location (UK), British department store Harvey Nichols is hosting a CNY shopping event with live music and late shopping hours. It has also curated a bespoke, CNY-attuned edit of new-season fashion and accessories, and will be handing out lucky-dip envelopes to everyone spending £75+ ($107+) for the chance to win exclusive prizes. Its cardholders will also receive free beauty samples and tutorials, plus personalised fashion illustrations sketched live by British illustrator Dom&Ink.


CNY, Bloomingdales NY
Lord & Taylor, NY
HarveyNichols, CNY

Power of Personalisation

  • Chinese department store Lane Crawford has created a dedicated microsite called Lunar New Year 2016. Consumers can personalise e-greetings with an interactive ‘Calligraphy Creator’ that visualises virtually ‘handwritten’ messages selected from a range of graphic backgrounds designed by renowned contemporary Chinese artists. These can be sent via Facebook, Twitter or email. 
  • At Selfridges, shoppers who spend more than £100 ($143) can personalise fans with traditional Chinese calligraphy for free via an expert stationed on the women’s accessories floor.
  • British luxury brand Burberry has launched a social media campaign allowing its WeChat account members to interact with its CNY collection. Users can tap, swipe and shake their phones to 'unwrap' gifts and personalise holiday greetings, which can then be forwarded on to their WeChat contacts. See our blog post for more. 
Lane Crawford, Lunar New Year Microsite
Burberry X DreamWorks

CNY-Themed Product Launches & Adaptations

  • Echoing Lord & Taylor’s ‘beauty boost’ approach to CNY, Lane Crawford has created a “New Year, New You Beauty Box” in collaboration with Chinese fashion designer Angel Chen. The box, which is covered in a vibrant flower print and converts into a handbag, houses deluxe beauty brands including Skin Laundry, Hourglass and Diptyque.
  • Sports giants NikeConverse and Adidas have all released special edition trainers to celebrate CNY featuring traditional colours, such as red, or stitched, printed or embossed Chinese or Zodiac sign symbols.
  • Louis VuittonSalvatore Ferragamo and Prada have all introduced limited-edition leather accessories shaped like monkeys. Meanwhile, Kenzo has created a capsule collection of sweaters and T-shirts paying homage to the auspicious Chinese colours of red and gold, and emblazoned with the brand’s signature tiger.
  • Burberry’s e-initiative is supported by a rebooted collection of its signature products (cashmere scarves, trench coats and totes) reworked in ‘Parade Red’ and flashes of gold for the occasion.

See also Retailers Tap Into Chinese New YearUnderstanding Chinese New Year andChinese Luxury: A New Normal.

Lane Crawford, New Year New You Beauty Box
Prada, CNY
Adidas, CNY