The world is not flat and for those of us in fashion - be it design, supply chain or even recruitment, we are very aware of the global presence of our industry. Designers and CEOs frequently cross borders as they cross over to different brands and the same can be said of all other departments, even if they don't always make the headlines. Here at Elite, we have been operating our Asia desk since 2014, helping to find the perfect candidates across the globe.
We spoke with our CEO Grant Morris, to find out his thoughts on our eastern operations:
As a globally active organisation, how is Elite Associates responding to the rise of the Asian Market?
As with many organisations, here at Elite we recognised the importance of the Asian Market early on and proactively built a team to respond to the business needs of clients as well as the career needs of candidates. We have witnessed the luxury industry in China and elsewhere really mature and as a result, our Asian division has grown threefold just in the last year. Our team is comprised of Mandarin speaking consultants that truly understand the Asian market and are passionate about its growth. Outreach through regular visits to the region is vital for us to understand the market and thus begin to tailor recruitment solutions for our clients.
What are some of the key cities to which Elite Associates has been providing recruitment support?
Although we are operational across the entirety of the Asian network we have focused on areas such as China, with support provided within Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu. In South East Asia, we have built a strong relationship with Singapore as it is the preferred city for many head offices in the region and covers Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand as well.
What are the key differences between the London luxury market and that of China?
London is an extremely mature market and caters to an international clientele. However, as China develops and Chinese shopping tourism increases globally, the local market is becoming more sophisticated and more discerning when spending at home. With over two-thirds of all Chinese luxury spending happening overseas, Mainland China faces the challenges of keeping that spend localised. London is an old European city that has maintained its relevance on an international scale by adaptation and thus has an urban infrastructure that is often in desperate need of repair. In contrast, Hong Kong and many of China’s new mega cities are able to offer modern conveniences. This will be quite influential as in-bound tourism to China from South Korea, Japan, and the United States continues to grow. Also, in addition to the highest levels of quality, customer service has been a cornerstone of the British luxury offer and is now setting the standard in terms of client experience expectations. With many European retailers such as House of Fraser now breaking into the Chinese market, the local shopper’s perception of customer service is equally shifting towards a higher level.
Image via The Guardian.