Luxury brand café trend brews market vitality
To be a coffee shop owner has become a popular option for many luxury fashion brands to expand their business in China.
Crossover coffee shops are a new trend, and they are especially popular with many luxury brands seeking to diversify their business.
Brands, ranging from Chanel to Ralph Lauren, which sell expensive clothes, shoes and handbags, are trying to reach customers through their own coffee brew, thereby giving birth to the "luxury branded café" trend.
"It is not so difficult to integrate a coffee shop into a store of luxury products, considering both costs and the styles," said Wang Zhendong, president of consulting firm Shanghai Feiyue Management Co.
It is expected that such branded coffee can help these luxury companies find more potential consumers. And compared with other expensive products, a cup of coffee, some sold at 40 yuan, is more affordable for people to taste a luxurious lifestyle.
The number of coffee consumers in China hit 300 million last year, with a market valued at 381.7 billion yuan (US$55.38 billion). It may keep such a growth momentum to over 1,000 billion yuan by the end of 2025, according to a iiMedia Research report.
Some mid- to high-fashion brands, such as Maison Kitsuné, have also set sights on the huge market.
Maison Kitsuné has turned its coffee shop brand, Café Kitsuné, into a chain store.
Along with the cute little fox icon, long queues and and limited-time options have added to the popularity of the café brand, which earlier gained online fame as a pop-up place in Beijing and Shanghai.
Meanwhile, fashion brand Ralph Lauren has two outlets of Ralph's Café, its coffee brand, in downtown Shanghai, one in Xujiahui area, the other near Jing'an Temple.