Shanghai Tang

A Chinese Luxury Fashion Brand in Search of a Market

Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781350996014.0018
Hit highlights
On Off


This case reviews the history and current business scenario for Shanghai Tang, a Chinese luxury fashion brand that has undergone several restructures and repositionings as it moved from the ownership of the founder, the late Sir David Tang, into the luxury group Richemont. Richemont later sold the brand on to an Italian entrepreneur, whose ownership lasted less than two years before the brand was sold again. Founded in colonial Hong Kong, Shanghai Tang celebrates Chinese design tropes and textiles and its brand positioning was initially targeted at an expatriate and tourist clientele.

The brand’s luxury retail strategy included distinctive visual merchandising; their offering expanded from clothing to gifts and homeware in an attempt to become a luxury Chinese lifestyle brand. Despite opening retail locations in London, New York, Beijing, and Shanghai and showing at international fashion weeks, the brand has failed to find a core fashion clientele. In recent years, it has changed its focus from Western consumers and sought to establish itself as the first Chinese luxury brand focused on cultural heritage and design to appeal to the rising Chinese fashion consumer market. The case focuses on the importance of understanding consumer behavior, the dynamic nature of international marketing, and the difficulty of repositioning in a global luxury market.

This content is not covered under a current subscription plan

Please contact your library to request a trial. For more information see Subscriber Services

’GCU London’ is a registered trademark of Glasgow Caledonian University and is used under licence.