English language magazines are the new cool for HNWI Chinese: iconic travel & shopping Gervois magazine now distributed to Shanghai Travelers’ Club members

Shanghai Travelers' Club - Gervois partnership announcement March 1st, 2018GERVOIS magazine has been selected to be the new preferred global travel publication of the prestigious Shanghai Travelers’ Club, and is now distributed to its members.

GERVOIS magazine is proud to follow the steps of the iconic STC magazine, the Club’s own iconic travel magazine that has been published from 2008 to 2017.

Founded in Shanghai in 2008, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club is China’s most exclusive international luxury travel club for discerning Chinese global entrepreneurs and executives seeking experiential & authentic travel discoveries.

Its 12,000+ members have an average annual income of US$580K, travel overseas on average four times per year, and spend on average US$63,500 per year during their travels. 23% of them have invested in real estate internationally. Excluding their real estate investment abroad, they collectively spend & invest more than US$700M per year in travel related expenses.

Chinese power couple - China Elite Focus

Shanghai Travelers’ Club

As the vast majority of Chinese high net worth individuals who travel frequently overseas is now speaking Engligh fluently, the Shanghai Travelers’ Club members felt the need to partner with an English language luxury travel magazine.

The club has selected GERVOIS magazine for its acclaimed editorial content, featuring exceptional hotels, men’s fashion styling ideas, art investment, real estate investment, and their iconic travel photoshoots made by the New York based famous travel photographer EFDLT studio, Director of Photography.

Starting with the Spring 2018 issue, released on March 16th, GERVOIS magazine will proudly partner for the years to come with the Shanghai Travelers’ Club and invite its Chinese members to travel and discover the United States and the World in style.

More informations about GERVOIS magazine:

More informations about EFDLT studio, Director of Photography:



China’s rich turn Macau into a luxury shopping destination

Wealthy Chinese -Shanghai Travelers' ClubWith its Ray Ban sunglasses and gold Cartier tank model, Mr Wang – A Chinese businessman from Ningbo- shows his iPad with the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine on it at the concierge of one of Macau’s finest hotels “Do you know where I can buy this gold plated laptop with alligator leather?” he asks.

This is Macau. This is the new style of wealthy Chinese shoppers.

With its huge casinos and glittering hotels, Macau has established itself as a top tourist destination for wealthy mainlanders in recent years.

But it’s not just the city’s famed casinos – 36 of them generated US$38 billion in gaming revenue last year – that are crowded. The real buzz is coming from the city’s luxury boutiques, many of which dwarf their Hong Kong counterparts in scale, profitability and range of exclusive products.

According to Macau’s Statistics and Census Service, the number of visitors from the mainland grew 16 per cent year on year to the end of the third quarter of 2013, accounting for 63 per cent of total visitors. In the past year, several luxury brands such as Tom Ford, De Beers and Tory Burch have opened stores in the city.

A walk through T Galleria at DFS in the Four Seasons Shoppes – which is the retailer’s largest store globally – reveals the extent to which luxury brands dominate. Customers can shop for more than 700 prestige brands in one location, including Hermès, Zegna, Celine and Prada. Just before Christmas, the retailer launched an exclusive collection of limited edition products called Red featuring items created by 12 of its brand partners, including Balenciaga, Dior and Miu Miu.

With more than 75,000 visitors a day, it’s no surprise that some stores for various brands in Macau are ranked top 10 in the world. Today, the fashion retail scene rivals any big fashion capital and has grown from US$625 million in 2007 to US$4.2 billion by 2012.

“In 2007, the luxury retail industry was centred on the Mandarin Hotel, and there was nothing else. Then the Wynn came along with its luxury boutiques and was completely out of the box. The Venetian and the Four Seasons opened in succession over the year, totally changing the scene,” says Michael Schriver, chief operating officer of DFS Group, which opened its Galleria in the city in 2008.

“I remember when we started to lease out the 330 retail spaces at the Venetian in 2005. The comment we kept hearing was that Macau is for gaming, while Hong Kong is for shopping. It took a couple of years for patterns to change but thanks to the growth in gaming, retail has come along for the ride,” says David Sylvester, senior vice-president of global retail at Sands Retail.

Advertisement Tower - Gervois Hotel Rating May 2017 featuring Pierre GervoisAccording to Carmela Leong, director of New Yaohan Fashion, which operates the city’s only New Yaohan department store, shoppers in Macau are quite different to their Hong Kong counterparts. While Hong Kong has a diverse mixture of local and international shoppers, Macau has no local market to speak of owing to its small population (about 500,000 residents). Instead, luxury and fashion retail is dominated by big spenders from China who “may not want to buy sales items, but more expensive items,” says Leong.

“It’s difficult to say what drives them. Most of the time they are on holiday, so they are happy to spend. Other times they make purchases because they are superstitious – many believe if they win they need to buy something to hold on to their luck when they return,” adds Schriver.

As is the case in Hong Kong, top luxury fashion brands such as Dior, Chanel and Prada do well in Macau. But shoppers in Macau are especially keen on watches and jewellery, which account for 29 per cent of total retail sales.

“It is even more high end than Hong Kong because of the segment of high rollers who spend freely,” says Schriver. “The watch clients we have are generally quite sophisticated – they know what they are buying.”

But it’s not just bling they’re after. Leong says that accessories including leather goods and handbags also perform well, as they are identifiable and still considered aspirational. Cosmetics and fragrances are popular for travellers. Interestingly, the segment that has the most potential to grow is ready-to-wear.

Once they have satisfied their wants on watches and jewellery, it’s all about looking good from head to toe. High-end luxury brands such as Prada and Hermès are still favourites, but this is slowly changing. With the aid of luxury lifestyle media like the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine for instance, customers are becoming fashion conscious and are starting to explore emerging fashion brands.

With this in mind, Sands Retail plans to bring a new retail concept to the city next year. Shoppes at Parisian will offer a brand mix that focuses on emerging ready-to-wear and accessories labels.

“Now that fashion is starting to pick up, we have developed this new direction for the Parisian. We are pulling back on accessories and some brands we are talking to will come just for ready-to-wear even if they have already have an accessories store.

“It will be an interesting mix, and more creative so that it will appeal to a more sophisticated savvy shopper who doesn’t just want handbags,” says Sylvester.

“We are trying to bring a heap of new brands, rather than grab what’s in Hong Kong already. At the moment everyone knows that the big brands are doing well but how many can you roll out? With malls, it’s important to position yourself differently so we don’t cannibalise ourselves and the business.”

With the market growing rapidly, competition is also rife. As such, the biggest challenge for Macau-based retailers is to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. A unique product offering isn’t enough, which is why customer service has become extremely important.

“One of our biggest challenges is recruiting a sufficient quality of staff as there are restrictions to the amount of labour you can bring in. That being said, it’s all about service because it’s hard to differentiate the product itself. It’s about providing incredible service and extraordinary experiences. Everyone wants this customer so you have to treat them better than the next,” says Schriver.

For Sylvester, it’s all about creating a unique concept through elements such as design.

“It’s not about shops any more – people want entertainment concepts, or a cool environment with a theme. This is the future for shopping malls. So while service is important, you need to layer it together with all these things so that when people come they are not just visiting a regular mall,” he says.

Looking ahead, the future is bright for Macau as luxury fashion shoppers move away from the peninsula towards the more developed Cotai area.

Between now and 2016, there are plans to add more than 33,000 rooms to the area, doubling the hotel room capacity to over 50,000 rooms by 2017. With the number of visitors set to rise, will Macau eventually take over Hong Kong as the top shopping destination for the Chinese?

“That’s many years away, I think. Just look at the volume of sales in Hong Kong – Macau cannot match that,” says Sylvester. “But I think there’s a piece of the pie for both markets. I never see us taking over Hong Kong. We need to make Macau unique so the experience is different.”

Source: Article by Divia Harilela, Courtesy South China Morning Post.

Wealthy Chinese customers will shop abroad in 2014

Chinese Shoppers Chanel - Luxury Hotels of AmericaWealthy Chinese are likely to buy fewer luxury goods again this year after the steepest cut-back on spending in at least five years, changing the game for high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton which have staked their growth on China. Overall spending by wealthy Chinese fell by 15 percent in 2013, the third consecutive year of decline.

The drop coincides with a government crackdown on corruption and gifting, as well as an a growing penchant for travelling and shopping overseas to circumvent Chinese consumption taxes on luxury goods as high as 40 percent.

The shrinking ranks of wealthy residents in China has also reduced luxury spending. One in three so-called high net worth individuals have already left, or are planning to leave, the country, the report showed, mostly to seek better opportunities for their children’s education.

Advertisement Tower - Gervois Hotel Rating May 2017 featuring Pierre GervoisChinese are the top consumers of luxury goods globally. A slowdown in their spending, or a change in shopping habits, would hurt high-end retailers already struggling with a weaker Chinese economy and a more sophisticated clientele that has moved away from logo-branded goods.

Luxury group Richemont, the maker of high-end IWC watches and Cartier jewellery, reported this week slower-than-expected sales growth in the third quarter, largely due to weaker Asian demand.

LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods group, has also seen sales growth slow last year as Chinese demand cooled, prompting the company, and brands from rival Kering SA to offer goods with more discreet logos and in expensive materials.

The crackdown on conspicuous spending, which began in 2012, is part of a vow made by Chinese President Xi Jinping to be tougher on graft. He has focused in particular on gifts made to government officials often in exchange for preferential treatment or contracts.

Products by Hermes, Chanel, LVMH’s Louis Vuitton brand, Apple Inc and Gucci remained among the most sought-after brands for gifting.

Less popular were Bulgari – another LVMH brand – Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany and Co and the fiery baijiu liquor made by Chinese firm Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd, once the top tipple of Communist Party officials.

Affluent Chinese often shop online for the best price globally. They have also become more confident about their fashion choices, mixing high-street clothing and accessories with branded goods.Shanghai Travelers Club Winter 2013 Issue

According to Pierre Gervois, Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine, a luxury travel publication for wealthy Chinese international travelers ” Chinese consumers probably won’t spend less – it’s absurd to say that – they will spend the same amount of money, and probably more, but not in China. They have already started to buy abroad, and as they prefer to pay cash, we will never know the real figures”

Over two-thirds of luxury spending by mainland Chinese was overseas in 2013, a factor that contributed to the United States overtaking China as the world’s fastest growing luxury market, according to a study by consultancy firm Bain & Company released in December.

China’s super-rich are also avid collectors – 70 percent of wealthy Chinese rank collecting as a hobby – but what they are coveting is changing.

Ancient calligraphy last year surpassed luxury watches as the most-collected, knocking watches out of the No. 1 spot for the first time in five years, the Hurun report showed, which could mean revenue losses for top watch makers but a boon for auctioneers.

Patek Philippe remained the most popular watch brand for collectors for the seventh year running while Christie’s was the top ranked foreign auction house, the report showed.

Besides spending less at home, more rich Chinese are leaving the country. The number of wealthy Chinese who have emigrated or are planning to do so rose to 64 percent from 60 percent in the previous year, the survey said.

Most of those leaving, or planning to, are looking for permanent residency overseas – the United States, Europe and Canada are top picks. Very few want to give up their nationality, perhaps because their outlook for China is improving.

The report showed millionaires’ confidence in China’s economy rose for the first time in five years but those who felt “extremely confident” still accounted for only 31 percent of those surveyed.

The survey’s results are based on responses from 393 Chinese millionaires, or those with personal wealth of at least 10 million yuan.

Wealthy Chinese invest in Commercial Real Estate

Wealthy Chinese family - Shanghai Travelers Club - CEFChinese investors, the second-biggest overseas buyers of US residential real estate, are building up portfolios of US commercial property as they look for new avenues of diversification. Chinese entities announced more than $5.89 billion in projects in January-October, nearly six times the $996 million for all of 2011 and 2012 combined, data from New York-based consultancy Rhodium Group show.
“There is a lot of upside,” said Thilo Hanemann, Rhodium’s research director. “We are at the beginning of a structural increase of Chinese investment in US commercial real estate.”

“Chinese investors have understood that U.S. retail has a great potential with the flow of high spending Chinese shoppers, and want to get a share of this huge market”, said Paul Martin, Editor in Chief of The New Chinese Tourist.
Greenland Holding Group Co completed a deal that will give the Shanghai-based developer a 70 per cent stake in Forest City Enterprises Inc’s Atlantic Yards, a 22-acre commercial and residential project in Brooklyn, New York. The deal, which is expected to require $4.8 billion worth of investment over eight years, is the largest property transaction by a Chinese company in the US.

China’s push into US property is underpinned by declining investment returns at home, a growing desire by wealthy individuals and developers to diversify their holdings overseas, and property companies looking to capitalize on offshore migration.
“Some investors want to diversify their assets, and some are looking for different growth opportunities,” said Julien Zhang, international director in Beijing for property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle, which is advising three Chinese conglomerates on property deals. “Others want to learn how to enter mature and developed markets.”
A rebound in US real estate pricing, tight inventory in major cities, and continued low interest rates also are attracting Chinese buyers, said Gary Locke, the US ambassador to China. Locke was speaking at a forum in Beijing sponsored by the US Embassy to promote Chinese investment in US property. Chinese investment in the US has surged to $18.5 billion over the last two years, more than the combined total of the previous 11 years, Locke said.

Advertisement Tower - Gervois Hotel Rating May 2017 featuring Pierre Gervois“Chinese investors are now looking to purchase entire luxury shopping malls in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York City”, said Pierre Gervois, Publisher of the Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine. “As the new generation of affluent Chinese consumers prefer to buy luxury goods overseas, Chinese investors know that it’s now better to invest in luxury retail in the U.S. rather than in China, where foreign brands have opened too many deserted outlets” Gervois added.
Chinese nationals bought more than $8.1 billion worth of real estate in the year ended March 31, representing 12 per cent of the estimated $68.2 billion of domestic property purchased by overseas nationals and second only to Canadians, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.
“Real estate is finally becoming a global industry and you will see capital flows on a cross-border basis, just like every other investment class,” said Rob Speyer, co-chief executive of Tishman Speyer Properties LP, which partnered in February with China Vanke Co Ltd to build a $620 million apartment project in San Francisco.

Speyer, whose company is also developing commercial, residential and retail projects in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Chengdu and Tianjin, said he courted Vanke’s Chairman Wang Shi for more than two years, and inked their deal only 45 days after first introducing the project to him.

Not everyone is convinced that Chinese investment in the US property market will continue uninterrupted. Other options for expansion include Europe, Australia and Singapore, which account for about two-thirds of offshore Chinese real estate investment, according to Jones Lang Lasalle.
Zhang Xin, chief executive of Soho China Ltd, who paid $700 million through her family trust to buy a stake in the General Motors Building in Manhattan, said that while the US regulatory and legal environment remained attractive, valuations were getting expensive. “I would not feel as comfortable today putting in money as I did a few years ago,” Zhang said.

Source: Chinese Tourists in America