Club Med’s recent sale of a 7% stake to China’s Fosun has prompted interest among other Chinese companies looking to get a foot in the door of the international market.
A number of Chinese companies are now looking at buying up minority stakes in internationally recognized brands, reports the Financial Times, which notes: “If the preferences of Chinese shoppers are any guide, then taking a chunk of practically anything from Armani to Zara might be in their sights.”[more]
The Club Med deal is indicative of a new way of thinking about Chinese investment and marketing, and the French Club Med is savvy enough to view the minority stake as a key to unlocking the potentially huge market for luxury travel in China.
A Club Med getaway, where everything is taken care of for guests from food to entertainment, is a perfect fit for middle class Chinese family vacations, which often involve two sets of grandparents, parents and one child.
Though stories of Chinese companies buying stakes in foreign brands may sound initially threatening, this trend will likely prove a benefit if these companies are looking to enter the Chinese market.
Having to pay attention to the wants and needs of Chinese investors will provide much-needed insight into what Chinese consumers want. This information could prove invaluable to future successful sales. —Laura Fitch in Beijing