Burberry opened the doors today to its largest store in southeast Asia—an 8,700-square-foot space on Singapore's Orchard Road, complete with WiFi and a video wall. The store will carry the Burberry Prorsum and Burberry London lines, as well as children's wear, fragrances, and accessories. Exclusive leather pieces will be sold to celebrate the grand opening. This will be Burberry's sixth store in Singapore, a 263.6-square-mile nation, one of the smallest in Asia.
Why is the Plaid One growing this aggressively in this economy? Frankly, it's smart strategy for a company that wants to be a successful global brand. According to research from brand consulting firm Wolff Olins for the Financial Times, the next global brands may not come from the west. "It used to be possible to be a global brand by dominating the U.S. market," Wolff Olins strategist Melanie McShane told the Financial Times. "Now you have to be number one in Asia."
The research also named five Asian brands to watch as the next global brands, including ChangYu, China's largest wine producer, and United Spirits, India's largest liquor company. Some global brands have decided to grow in Asia by acquisition rather than create its own presence like Burberry. PepsiCo bought Russian juice giant Lebedyansky, and Unilever acquired Russian ice-cream company Inmarko. But Coca-Cola's attempt to buy Chinese juice company Huiyan were blocked under the country's Anti-Monopoly Law.
Global wealth has already been shifting, with Asian spending on the rise. Over the past year, China's retail sales were up 15%, and Haier and Lenovo have dominant global presences. In the future, we'll be looking to the east, not the west, as drivers of global economic growth and creators of the next great brands.
[Photos Courtesy of Burberry]