Lane Crawford says its Beijing store is the first stage in a long-term plan for China and other stores will be rolled out in the future.
Retail analysts say that having a flagship store rather than being among dozens of brands carried in a high-class department store is the best way to achieve brand recognition and exclusivity in China.
However, it is difficult and expensive to find good sites for boutiques in China due to exorbitant rentals in high-end areas.
Reaching out beyond Beijing and Shanghai is the next step. The southern boom city of replaced in 2007 as the city with the highest average spending on luxury goods, according to Credit Suisse, while the size of the luxury markets in Shenzhen and Wuhan doubled.
Braun says fast-growing northeastern cities such as Dalian offer better opportunities for expansion than southern cities.