Zhengzhou, a new Tier-1 city and capital of the east-central Henan province has never been synonymous with luxury consumption. But the city is now home to nearly 50 global luxury labels with David Plaza, the only high-end shopping complex in Henan, being the centrepiece.
Around 30 renowned brands landed in the shopping centre in 2022, of which, 23 were some brands’ first store openings in the province, as per the Chinese luxury online publication Luxe.co. Included were Hermès, Celine, Loro Piana, Chloe, Van Cleef & Arpels, Maison Margiela, Roger Viver and Thom Browne. This is on top of existing tenants such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Cartier, Burberry and more.
Long queues were observed on the opening day of Hermès’ first store in Zhengzhou on 30 March 2022, and a total of 16 categories from the store’s offerings, including ready-to-wear and suitcases to jewellery and watches, were reported to have almost been “snapped up” by eager local luxury shoppers. This signals the strong purchasing power of the city’s population.
In 2022, Zhengzhou knocked out the highest GDP amongst other cities in Henan, at 1.29 trillion RMB (186.85 billion USD), which accounted for 21.09% of the total GDP of the province, showing its core status in the region’s overall economic performance. The city’s GDP per capita stood at 101,512 RMB (14,703 USD). Although ranking second after its peer, the city of Jiyuan (110,441 RMB, or 15,996 USD), the gap is rather narrow and with a large permanent resident base of 12.74 million (as opposed to 730,000 in Jiyuan), Zhengzhou has a potential to catch-up quickly.
As such the city has been growing in appeal to global luxury brands and Chanel is one of the latest seeking to join, with the brand’s recruitment ad for boutique store manager published in January showing the intention. Luxury label Dior is also seen to have been eyeing up the new market space with a large-scale poster set up on the first floor of David Plaza, according to Luxe.co’s on-site visit in March.
The rise of this shopping centre’s popularity and Zhengzhou being viewed as a new luxury hub will undoubtedly accelerate the recovery of luxury consumption in China post-pandemic. The city will also serve as a stepping stone for global luxury brands in reaching consumers in lower-tier markets, facilitating their further expansion in the country.