Fortnum & Mason CEO Tom Athron’s China Growth Strategy

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The appetite for luxury and transportation experiences in China is growing, Alizila learned in an exclusive interview with Tom Athron, CEO of the famous British department store. Fortnum & Mason.

The 300-year-old brand is bringing its classic baskets, picnic mats, cookies and tea to China via Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce site Tmall.

“We took the opportunity to launch on Tmall to test, learn and understand from our perspective what resonates with our Chinese customers,” said Tom Athron, CEO of Fortnum & Mason.

Athron sees the move as an opportunity to examine consumer experiences in new locales while providing Chinese consumers, most of whom have not traveled overseas in some time, access to good old fashioned British dishes.

Fortnum & Mason’s sparkling herbal tea is its drink of choice, and the drink has already stolen the hearts of many shoppers in Hong Kong.

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“The Chinese market is extremely interesting for us, partly because there is this growing middle class that is increasingly interested in access to luxury brands, but in a much more relevant and modern way. “, Athron said.

“Partly because of the pandemic and the steps we’ve taken to invest quite heavily in technology, we’re operating about 30-40% online,” Athron said.


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