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International brands tap into "Year of Rabbit" Release date: 2023-01-16    Source:Xinhua

As the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches, many international brands have launched limited-edition products to welcome the Year of the Rabbit and embrace the massive Chinese market.

Most of the limited-edition items feature the image of the rabbit, one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals. Some Chinese elements such as red, a symbol of Chinese happiness and auspice, and Chinese knots have also been added to product packaging by some brands.

At the duty-free stores in south China's island province of Hainan, limited-edition items designed for the Chinese Lunar New Year are popular with consumers, covering cosmetics, clothing, and bags, among others.

"For the upcoming Year of the Rabbit, we have launched limited-edition products of the Bugs Bunny cartoon series, including sweaters, leather coats, and T-shirts," said Rao Chaoyuan, a salesperson of Moschino, an Italian fashion brand, at the Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex. It is the world's largest stand-alone duty-free shopping mall.

"It is one of our main collections this year, and it goes well with the New Year atmosphere," he said.

A new collection of an American clothing brand featuring the rabbit is very eye-catching at the counter. "The Chinese New Year is coming, so the rabbit series are selling well, especially jackets, T-shirts, and children's clothes," said Qin Rui, a salesgirl at the counter.

Some international brands cooperate with local Chinese brands to jointly release their limited products for the Spring Festival. SK-II, a Japanese skincare brand, and Chinese domestic candy brand White Rabbit jointly launched a New Year limited skincare essence.

American fashion brand Coach, owned by Tapestry, also launched a joint brand with White Rabbit to welcome the Year of the Rabbit, which is popular among consumers.

At the 5th China International Import Expo held last November in 2022, Coach and White Rabbit made the global debut of a co-branded collection, including clothing, handbag, footwear, and children's wear collections.

Yann Bozec, president of Tapestry Asia Pacific, said that for Tapestry, China is a crucial market and a source of inspiration for brands seeking breakthroughs and innovation.

He said they expect to bring consumers new inspiration about a better life through more innovative cooperation and bring new strength to the development of China's fashion industry.

International brands have been attaching more importance to the Chinese market in recent years. Tapping into the Chinese zodiac culture is a good way to cater to Chinese consumers and integrate into the massive Chinese market.

Liu Lu, a tourist from Beijing, was trying on a bright red hat with rabbit patterns at a counter at a Haikou Riyue Plaza duty-free shop. "As the Year of the Rabbit is coming, it's very appropriate and fascinating for luxury brands to have zodiac elements on them," she said.

"It shows that Chinese consumers are important to brands from around the world, and I think it reflects the importance of the Chinese market," she added.

The duty-free market is an important market for luxury goods consumption. As China's only tropical resort island, Hainan is becoming a major luxury consumption center as duty-free shopping continues to be popular here.

Official data showed the daily sales of offshore duty-free shopping malls in Hainan exceeded 100 million RMB (about 14.7 million U.S. dollars) for seven consecutive days from Dec. 13 to 19 in 2022.

During the past three-day New Year holiday, Hainan's duty-free sales hit 422 million yuan.