Remy stays elite as its ri­vals look else­where

CHINA DAILY USA

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By BLOOMBERG

If China’s thirst for lux­ury goods is on the wane, no­body’s told Remy Coin­treau SA.

The dis­tiller has opened its first-ever store ded­i­cated en­tirely to Louis XIII cognac, the most ex­pen­sive vari­ant of the com­pany’s Remy Martin brand, which com­prises 60 per­cent of its rev­enue.

It comes in crys­tal de­canters rang­ing from tiny $600 5-cen­tiliter minia­tures to an $80,000 six-liter ves­sel dubbed a “methuse­lah.”

The bou­tique in Bei­jing’s Shin Kong Place mall also of­fers pair­ings of cognac with caviar and iberico ham.

“It’s a chang­ing land­scape in China,” said Louis XIII brand di­rec­tor Ludovic du Plessis, who ex­pects slower but more sus­tain­able growth af­ter the gov­ern­ment’s four-year cam­paign against graft dented sales.

“It’s now about self-in­dul­gence, we need to rein­vent the di­a­logue with our client and re­ally get to know who can af­ford our prod­uct.” He CANADA de­clined to pro­vide spe­cific sales pro­jec­tions or data for the 142-year-old brand.

The move comes as ebbing de­mand for lux­ury goods — par­tic­u­larly in China — has forced com­pa­nies such as Cartier owner Richemont, cloth­ier Burberry and Kelly bag maker Her­mes to aban­don sales and profit fore­casts. A slump in pricey co­gnacs and Scotch has sent Remy’s peers go­ing in the other di­rec­tion: Pernod Ri­card SA, the maker of Martell cognac, said this month that China’s grow­ing mid­dle class of­fers bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth.

Ship­ments of cognac to China be­gan to de­cline from a record high in 2012 af­ter the gov­ern­ment crack­down on ex­trav­a­gant gift­ing, data from trade body BNIC shows. Vol­umes re­cov­ered last year as dis­tillers pro­moted less-ex­pen­sive vari­ants.

CHINA DAILY (ISSN 07486154) is pub­lished daily ex­cept week­ends by China Daily USA, 1500 Broad­way, Suite 2800, New York, NY 10036. Pe­ri­od­i­cal postage paid at New York, NY and ad­di­tional mail­ing of­fices. POSTMASTER: Send ad­dress changes to CHINA DAILY USA, 1500 Broad­way, Suite 2800, New York, NY 10036.

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