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Lao Feng Xiang Opens 1st Canadian Location

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Pricey Shanghai-based jeweller Lao Feng Xiang just opened its first Canadian location in Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’. A company representative explained why the retailer chose to open in Vancouver, and how Canada is only the third international market for the brand.

Interior of Lao Feng Xiang on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver
Interior of Lao Feng Xiang on Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. Photo: Lao Feng Xiang

Lao Feng Xiang is China’s oldest jewellery brand, as well as the world’s 16th-largest luxury goods company. Founded in 1848, the brand boasts a network of 2,800 retail stores in China as well as individual locations in Sydney, Australia and in New York City. Lao Feng Xiang is particularly known for its 24-karat gold and jade creations. 

The Vancouver boutique, measuring about 1,300 square feet, is located at 1016 Alberni Street in the heart of Vancouver’s ‘Luxury Zone’. Last month, Canada’s first location for pricey luxury brand Jaeger-LeCoultre opened next door, and current neighbours include Hermes, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Dior and Montblanc. Between now and the spring of 2016, the area will see the opening of freestanding locations for luxury brands Prada, Moncler, Brunello Cucinelli, Versace, Strellson and Stefano Ricci

Company representative Wang En Sheng provided written responses to four questions about Lao Feng Xiang’s new Vancouver store. Questions were asked by Retail Insider editor Helen Siwak:

1. Why have you decided to expand into Canada?

We see Canada as a very multicultural country. As the third largest city in Canada and the largest in the west coast, Vancouver has one of the largest Chinese populations in North America and is famous for its quality of living, natural beauty, multiculturalism and a high tourist destination.  All of the above are important factors that contribute to our expansion decision to Canada.

2. Has anything specific spurred this expansion?

We participate in the JCK show in Las Vegas every year and have considered the US market since 2007.  It only made sense that we started looking at the Canadian market immediately after our decision to expand to the USA.

3. Do you have any specific goals in the Canadian market?

Lao Feng Xiang will strive to meet the needs of not only the local customers, but also the global visitors to Vancouver. Millions of residing overseas Chinese still have a strong bond with home, seeing a long established Chinese brand they grew up with not only serve them economically but also culturally and sentimentally.

4. What are some facts or stories that you would like the Canadian audience to know?

Lao Feng Xiang is one of the oldest Chinese jewellery brands in existence. We have been in business since 1848, spanning 167 years of continuous operation. In our logo, you will see the three Chinese characters representing the beautiful and auspicious phoenix. The phoenix has an important meaning in Chinese culture “The bird rising from the ashes symbolizes rebirth” they can also stand for “The lucky and fashionable Phoenix”.  Bestowed upon this beautiful bird are two powerful wings, representing inheritance and innovation, core values of our business.

Lawyer Ritchie Po (far left) and THECloset YVR owner Helen Siwak (red hair) with Lao Feng Xiang reps at the Vancouver store’s grand opening.

Gold, which represents luck and fortune, holds great meaning in Chinese culture, so Lao Feng Xiang has tied its brand to 24K gold jewelry for many years.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider, Publisher of Retail Insider the magazine and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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