Worldview: China’s May Holiday Sees Domestic Travel Spending Recover


🇨🇳 China’s domestic travel spending recovers during Labour Day holiday The golden week holiday period pegged to Labour Day saw domestic travellers spend 166.9 billion yuan ($23.13 billion), an increase of 13.5 percent from 2019 pre-pandemic levels, government data showed, but expenditure per head of 565.7 yuan was down 11.5 percent, Reuters calculations show. According to online travel agency Ctrip, the most popular mainland destinations were Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Xi’an and Shenzhen. Beyond the mainland and special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau, top overseas destinations for the extended May 1-5 holiday period were Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Outbound travel bookings doubled over 2023 figures, according to Alibaba Group’s travel platform Fliggy, but compared to 2019 figures, global Chinese tourist numbers in 2024 are expected to reach only 84% of pre-pandemic levels, according to a forecast by the China Tourism Academy. [Reuters, Jing Daily, China Daily, Bloomberg]

🇲🇲 Human rights are deteriorating for Myanmar’s garment workers. Khaing Zar Aung, president of the Industrial Workers Federation of Myanmar, a campaigner for foreign companies to divest from the country since the military seized power in a coup in 2021, has said that conditions have worsened for workers in the low-cost manufacturing hub since August 2023 when H&M Group and Zara-owner Inditex joined Uniqlo-owner Fast Retailing, Primark and other companies in phasing out operations in accordance with responsible exit framework espoused by the IndustriALL Global Union. [Sourcing Journal]

🇸🇳 Senegal’s WIC Capital to invest more in female-led fashion businesses. Evelyne Dioh Simpa, the managing director of the Dakar-based firm that backs local designer brand Sarayaa, has said it is seeking more investment opportunities in early-stage fashion companies in the francophone region of Africa, particularly Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire. The private equity firm’s holdings also include companies operating in the food and the online wholesale sectors. [How We Made It in Africa]

🇮🇳 India’s Raymond reports 18% rise in profits after tax in Q4. The company, one of the world’s largest producers of suit fabric and a maker of men’s branded apparel, noted profits of 229 crore rupees ($27 million), on revenues of 2,688 crore rupees ($322 million) during the period. Chairman Gautam Hari Singhania, was reappointed managing director of the firm, following the contested ousting of his estranged wife Nawaz Modi-Singhania from the boards of other companies in the holdings of parent Raymond Group. [Economic Times]

🇾🇪 Yemeni militants extend attacks beyond Red Sea to Indian Ocean. An recent attack on a ship followed a threat by the Iran-backed Houthi group to expand their campaign from Suez Canal-bound vessels to those sailing the alternative route between Asia and Europe around Africa, which many mariners have been forced to take since the crisis began late last year. Since January, fashion and textile traders have reported delays and freight cost rises due missile and drone attacks on cargo ships which the Houthis claim are a show of support for Gaza’s Palestinians in the Israel-Hamas war. [Financial Times, BoF]

🇮🇳 Indian multi-brand e-tailer Lyskraft raises $26 million in seed funding. The omnichannel retail startup, founded by former Zomato senior executive Mohit Gupta and Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal, has secured the funds in a round led by Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia Capital India), with participation from investors Prosus, Sofina, and partners of DST Global. The fashion marketplace for premium brands will aim to compete with the likes of Flipkart-owned Myntra, Reliance Retail’s Ajio, Tata Cliq and Nykaa Fashion. [Economic Times]

🇯🇵 Japanese brand Bape yields to Nike over trademark lawsuit. The streetwear label founded in 1993 by Tomoaki Nagao, commonly known as Nigo, has agreed to discontinue some sneaker models following a trademark infringement case filed by the American footwear giant in a US court accusing it of “near verbatim” copies. In a dismissal filed last week, the companies said that they have entered into a settlement agreement to resolve the year-long legal battle. [Sourcing Journal]

🇮🇳 Indian department store Shoppers Stop reports Q4 profit surge. The Mumbai-based group, which has 270 stores across the country including 98 fashion and beauty department stores, 11 standalone SSBeauty multibrand beauty stores and 7 Home Stop stores, posted a near 53 percent increase during the period, helped by demand in the beauty and luxury segments. [Economic Times]

🇦🇺 Australian fashion e-tailer The Iconic posts 16.4% fall in Q1 NMV. The decline in net merchandise value for the first quarter of 2024 follows similar double-digit drops in the last two quarters. The parent company of the Australia and New Zealand region-focused e-tailer, Global Fashion Group, also noted double-digit NMV drops at its Southeast Asia-focused e-tailer Zalora and at its Latin America-focused e-tailer Dafiti. [Ragtrader]

🇨🇳 US claims China is moving forced labourers to frustrate due diligence. A US Labor Department official has said that China is increasingly transferring coerced labourers from Uyghur and other minority backgrounds from Xinjiang to work elsewhere in the country. Since 2022 the US’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act has barred most imports with links to China’s Xinjiang region, including textile and apparel products, over concerns of forced labour in the cotton supply chain, claims which China denies. [The Wall Street Journal]

🇮🇳 Manyavar’s Indian parent Vedant Fashions posts 6.3% profit rise in Q4. The manufacturer and retailer of Indian traditional, wedding and celebration wear under the brand names Manyavar, Mohey, Mebaz, Twamev and Manthan has reported consolidated net profit of 115.79 crore rupees ($13.8 million) in the quarter ended March 2024. The Kolkata-based firm founded by Ravi Modi counts 657 mono-brand stores in India and 16 overseas stores. [Economic Times]

🇧🇭 Bahrain’s new resort mall Marassi Galleria snags more luxury tenants. The mixed-use retail and entertainment complex, which was officially inaugurated in February, has recently opened an Hermes boutique, which joins those already confirmed including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior. The mall sits on a beach-side location just outside Muharraq, a suburb of Bahrain’s capital Manama, on an island about a half-hour’s drive from the city centre. [RIL, News of Bahrain]

🇨🇳 Guess partners with emerging Chinese designer Yueqi Qi. The American denim brand has released a Y2K-themed collection in collaboration with the Central Saint Martin’s graduate and LVMH Prize finalist who recently returned to Shanghai Fashion Week after showing in Tokyo for two seasons. [Jing Daily]

🇧🇷 US conglomerate Authentic Brands Group names new head of Brazil. The parent company of brands like Reebok, Nautica, Juicy Couture and Forever 21 has tapped Bruno Pedroso de Almeida as vice president, country head. The former VF Central and South America executive will be based in Sao Paulo. [FashionNetwork]

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