Time to smell?

The Financial Times reports that Paul Smith announces he is returning to the Chinese market after pulling out some five years ago.

Sir Paul must surely at least have slightly raised an eyebrow at reports from rival British firm Burberry, which reported China as second only to the US for sales, with one of its best selling lines in China being an iPad cover costing £2,495 (more on this in the next post, Vain?).

With China’s middle class racing to be added to the list of China’s catalogue of world’s largest, the lure of the Chinese market is self-evident, even for those who have been badly bitten by it in the past. There are two important things to draw from this. First, just how strong the gravitational pull of the Chinese market is. Paul Smith pulled out of China in 2007 after heavy losses, calling it “dangerous’. Despite such a history he is being drawn back east. Second, that we need to adjust our concept of time when we look at China. In what would seem a very short time in western markets, the whole landscape will have changed in China. As such, it may very well be time to smell.

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