The opening of a new Hermès site in China caused a sensation.
The two-story store in Wuhan’s luxury mega-mall, Heartland 66, drew a line of wealthy VIP shoppers this week for exclusive handbags, clothes and more. Although the brand only invited “50 high-profile customers” to the opening, it closed the day with a staggering profit of $4.45 million, according to WWD.
Shoppers enthusiastically shared their big purchases, like Birkin and Kelly handbags, via China’s response to Instagram, the social media platform and e-com Xiaohongshu. One showed a stack of seven Hermès boxes including a Lindy bag and a Kelly 25. Another displayed four bags of products with items such as an Ostrich Mini Kelly worth around 100,000 renminbi, or 14,885 $. To the surprise of buyers, a few rare pieces were also available: a pink Kelly Doll bag and a floral Picotin Lock Micro bag were reportedly offered to VIP customers.
The new store is designed by RDAI, Parisian architectural firm. The exterior is decorated with narrow ceramic tiles in ocher tones as an ode to the house’s signature packaging. The ground floor, adorned with traditional Greek lights, offers a variety of collections of silks, leather goods, menswear and footwear. Above, homewares, jewelry, watches, and women’s ready-to-wear sit alongside footwear sections. Large VIP rooms complete the space with walls covered in silk panels, hand painted in abstract designs.
In September 2021, Hermès opened its second store in Shenzhen and according to a Xiaohongshu user, the store opening in downtown Wuhan was rather quiet by comparison, despite the crowds. While the brand hasn’t confirmed the $4.45 million figure, it’s plausible, as recent reports said sales of luxury goods are expected to increase by at least 5% this year.