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Spanish luxury goods making headway in China
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Top Spanish brands ranging from Torres wine to Lladro porcelain figurines to Zara fashions are finding a foothold in China's ever fiercer consumer market, said a Spanish trade promoter in Shanghai.


"The brand strategy has impressed Chinese consumers," said Jose Luis Bonet, president of the Leading Brands of Spanish Forum. "Spanish goods are making headway in China's middle and high-end consumer market."


The forum has provided good insight into what Spain has to offer as it featured senior executives from a number of the country's big brand companies who were on hand to discuss the collective effect of famous Spanish brands in China.


"We feel that Chinese consumers have been getting more and more knowledge on imported wines through the years," said Alberto Fernandez, Torres China general manager. "They take into consideration both the brand reputation and the price when purchasing foreign brand wines."


Torres, which entered the China market in 1982, was the country's second largest wine importer in 2006. Its China trade topped 200,000 bottles last year and it acted as a franchise agency for many other foreign labels.


Both LLadro and Zara said they were committed to increasing their market exposure through setting up more outlets and boutiques for Chinese luxury consumers in well-off cities.


"LLadro offers not only an air of Europe, but also a flavor tailoring especially for consumers here in China," said Olivier Arzel, a Lladro Asia board member.


The company's newly opened flagship shop occupies 2,000 square meters in Shanghai's most expensive commercial area of Nanjing Road, where world-famous brands are densely concentrated.


Bonet said market research found most Chinese consumers acknowledged the high quality of famous Spanish brands, but were not as familiar with them as their counterparts from France, Italy, the United States, Japan and Germany.


(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)

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