Ba­len­ci­aga sorry over mis­treat­ment of Chi­nese shop­pers in Paris

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

Lux­ury fash­ion brand Ba­len­ci­aga has apol­o­gised after claims that Chi­nese shop­pers were mis­treated at a Parisian out­let sparked a back­lash.

Ba­len­ci­aga and up­mar­ket re­tailer Prin­temps apol­o­gised on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia, where news of the in­ci­dent has at­tracted over two mil­lion com­ments.

A video posted on­line ap­peared to show a Chi­nese cus­tomer as­saulted at the Ba­len­ci­aga shop in­side Prin­temps.

Its cap­tion read: "Boy­cott Ba­len­ci­aga [for] dis­crim­i­nat­ing against Chi­nese."

Ba­len­ci­aga, known for its lux­ury shoes and hand­bags, is part of Ker­ing, which also owns Gucci and Yves Saint Lau­rent.

Cit­ing the video, China's staterun Global Times claimed the in­ci­dent had be­gun after the man's mother scolded queue jumpers while she was wait­ing to en­ter the Ba­len­ci­aga out­let.

It is com­mon to see long lines of cus­tomers from China and other coun­tries out­side Parisian bou­tiques.

One of the queue-jumpers then pushed the woman and threat­ened to punch her, prompt­ing her son to in­ter­vene, it was al­leged.

The son was wres­tled to the ground by the group, the Global Times re­ported, adding that a sales clerk then al­legedly in­sulted the Chi­nese cus­tomers and told them to leave.

The hash­tag #Boy­cottBa­len­ci­a­gaDis­crim­i­natesA­gain­stChi­nese has been viewed at least 29 mil­lion times on Chi­nese so­cial me­dia plat­form Weibo, China's equiv­a­lent of Twit­ter.

"Ba­len­ci­aga shoes are beau­ti­ful, but such an episode is an eye-opener," said one Weibo user. Another wrote: "You can say good­bye to the Chi­nese mar­ket."

In a state­ment in Man­darin posted on Weibo, Ba­len­ci­aga said it re­gret­ted the in­ci­dent and noted that se­cu­rity guards had acted quickly to re­store calm.

"Ba­len­ci­aga sin­cerely apol­o­gises to the cus­tomers who were present and reaf­firms its strong com­mit­ment to re­spect equally all its cus­tomers," it said.

Prin­temps said that staff would re­ceive ad­di­tional train­ing to en­sure they man­age such sit­u­a­tions in the best pos­si­ble way.

"We would like to ex­tend our sin­cer­est apolo­gies to the Chi­nese cus­tomers in­volved in this al­ter­ca­tion as well as to all those who were up­set or in­con­ve­nienced in any way," the de­part­ment store said.

Paris is a favourite Euro­pean des­ti­na­tion of Chi­nese trav­ellers, who are a cru­cial mar­ket for lux­ury brands.

Just this week, Ker­ing re­ported a 27% jump in sales, partly as a re­sult of a re­cov­ery in spend­ing by wealthy Chi­nese shop­pers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.