Why Is China So Obsessed With Hugo Boss?

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Photo of Anastasiia Ilina
8 June 2017

As the German fashion brand Hugo Boss struggles around the world, it has been making a strong comeback in China. Despite having to cut prices, the market in China is strong, and men’s business suits are in high demand. So what are the factors influencing the success in the Chinese market?

Hugo Boss has been in China for over two decades now. The first shop opened in 1994 in the more developed and Western-thinking Shanghai. Currently, Hugo Boss has over 50 official shops around China, with ambitions to open more in the future. Moreover, the black market sales are also thriving, as counterfeit products with the Hugo Boss logo are high in demand.

© fufuwolf/Flickr

The fashion craze for a brand that has experienced difficulty around Europe can be understood through certain cultural nuances that make China a favourable market. The Chinese remain superstitious and believe in omens of good luck and prosperity. The brand name Boss could be unmistakably attractive as it foreshadows success in the workplace and authority over others. For some extra good luck in the workforce, it would be acceptable to invest in good fortune.

Tailored Suits | © Wesley Fryer/Flickr

Hugo Boss has also been experiencing a shift to online sales. As the company shuts down to stores to save on rent and other associated expenditures, the budget becomes unevenly distributed in favour of the digital market. Developing a digital market is a pillar in the success on the Chinese market, because here the culture of online shopping is well-developed and active, which is proven by the number of followers on Hugo Boss’s Wechat (messaging app) and Weibo (blog website) accounts.

Moreover, the Chinese retain an ongoing passion for luxury brands, thus explaining the general shopping craze when they travel. Luxury brands are a display of power and in China are less affordable, as the prices are subject to a costly import tax. Hugo Boss has made a cut of prices in China, bringing them down to the European level even after tax. A loss in profit for the company, but an increase in Mainland China sales, now that luxury is affordable close to home.

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