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Paul Smith returns to China

Premium label Paul Smith took its first step towards Chinese expansion with the opening of a store in Beijing last week.

Paul Smith plans to open 25 stores in the country in the next five years and will focus on opening stores in larger cities such as Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. The brand opened its first store, a 2,766 sq ft shop, in Beijing this week.

Paul Smith is the latest British brand to target the Chinese market.

Last week Topshop opened its first store in Hong Kong, ahead of a wider rollout in mainland China, while fast fashion chain New Look announced plans to open 20 stores there by March 2015.

Luxury brands such as Burberry have also enjoyed much success in the country.

This will be the second time Paul Smith has attempted to crack China. It first launched there in 2002 but pulled out five years later, with reports stating the label found most consumers preferred brands that would show off wealth.

However the brand’s eponymous founder believes Chinese consumers now want more discreet and understated designs.

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