Home > Blog > French Chamber 2018 Luxury Symposium recap and video

The second edition of the French Chamber’s Luxury Symposium took place yesterday, welcoming 180 guests for an afternoon full of insights on the ever-evolving world of luxury and retail.

The aim? Learn from disruptors, thought leaders and key industry players to re-imagine luxury as we know it and create a better experience for consumers in the connected age.

The numbers are staggering. Luxury goods make up a US$300 billion market worldwide with Chinese consumers responsible for roughly 32% of these sales. Just last week, records were once again broken for Chinese Single’s Day, with total sales amounting to US$25 billion.

Throughout the day, we heard from speakers on how to better tap into this enormous market through everything from Augmented Reality installations to targeting Key Opinion Leaders and innovative WeChat campaigns.

In acknowledging that Chinese consumers are more sophisticated and discerning than ever we must look beyond classic digital marketing strategies. Luxury brands that fail to understand are already being left behind.

A big thanks to our sponsors Curiosity China, KPMG and Nespresso.


Check our Facebook page for full photos from the day.


Key points from our speakers on the day:


Francis Belin, Global Managing Director, Asian Art, Christies

  • Chinese artists are leading the way
  • 6-7 Chinese Artists in the Top 20!
  • Chinese want to buy Chinese Art

Julien Bence, Head of Sales & Marketing APAC, XXII

  • Save space + create a story
  • This is not science fiction
  • Games / quiz / changing room
  • No need for market research companies

Alexis Bonhomme, Co-Founder, Curiosity China

  • 32% of all luxury goods are sold to Chinese, at home or overseas
  • 902 million daily login WeChat users (Sept 2017)
  • China is becoming the first cashless society
  • It's time to evolve!
  • Identify KOL vs. Influencers

Christophe Cambournac, CEO APAC, IPSOS

  • Consumption = China for China
  • Chinese consumers are more sophisticated
  • Millennials are the driving force - individuality
  • Got to be relevant
  • Expectation = heritage + authenticity

Christophe Chaix, SVP, General Merchandise Manager, Fashion, Watches, Jewelry & Accessories, DFS Group Limited

  • Travel Retail – Downtown Duty Free is the rising star!
  • Asia = 38% of the Travel Retail
  • 78% of PRC luxury consumption happens OVERSEAS
  • Challenges are:
    • 1) cost of running stores in Airports
    • 2) Pricing – consumers expect savings
    • 3) New Channels
    • 4) Travel Retail Equations
  • Strategy
    • 1)     Accelerate AGILE offer
    • 2)    Emphasize VALUE
    • 3)     Marketing
    • 4)     Experience + personalisation
  • Take care of our customers at every step along the journey

Gregoire Grandchamp, Co-Founder & CEO, Next Beauty, Benoit Lavaud, Group Digital Director, Bluebell Group, John Steere, President, MyMM & Thibault Villet, Chairman and Co-founder, Mei.com

  • 90% of 11/11 was on ‘mobile’
  • Globalisation + personalisation + gamification
  • John – big fan of festival shopping
  • Worst job in China = the Postman
  • John wants to clear up the Authenticity issue
  • Also need a KOL strategy

Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, Managing Director, Sephora Digital SEA

  • Created a new role as Head of Omni Channel
  • No reason to keep those silos
  • 300 world class stores
  • Virtual artist – trying any product
  • Build data analytics
  • Mobile crucial for our customer’s lives

Amaury La Fonta, General Manager, Maserati South East Asia Pacific regional office

  • Exclusivity + passion
  • Press is powerful
  • Prospecting out of the showroom
  • Digital – automotive industry using VR
  • China is number 1 market for Maserati
  • 100 cars went in a blink of the eye!!  (18 seconds) on Single’s Day
  • Alibaba has been a great partner

Yvon Le Renard, Managing Director, Clever Age Asia Ltd

  • Distributed Data
  • Chief Data Officer role coming quickly
  • China Cyber Security Law

Belle Morton, Head of Customer Advisory, KPMG

Laurence Ouaknine, President & Founder, Au Coeur du Luxe

  • Enable your teams to accomplish more with technology
  • Pair a team from HR with your data scientists to derive new insights from your workforce
  • Winners will create corporate culture where technology empowers people to evolve and drive change

Simon Williamson, Group Retail Director, Value Retail China

  • State-of-the-Art VIP Lounges
  • Not just an outlet!
  • Destination… it’s about destination

Rebecca Woo Yuk Kwan, Operation Director (HK), K11 Concepts Ltd

  • Focus on Millennials
  • Traditional formula
  • Incubate the young entrepreneurs
  • We are the Millennial Experts!