We have settled very nicely into our apartment and have been steadily exploring our new neighbourhood. Our compound is named Royal Gardens and the buildings, suitably, have gold detailing and gold trims on the balconies. Luckily, the gold theme has not come into our apartment!
Anyway, this post is about brands. You know how the majority of Chinese are brand obsessed? Cars, clothes, watches, gadgets, perfumes etc. And just the other day, I had 3 Maseratis cruise down our very small street along with the usual Bentleys and Porsches. I can confidently say that our new neighbourhood is very much upper-middle class. Roughly a 5 minute walk from our front door is a big up-market department store called Takeshimaya. It's a Japanese company and offers all sorts of luxury goods and has a great supermarket in the basement.
Christoph and I went for a stroll and decided to pop into Takeshimaya to see what it was like. We saw the usual department store goods but what stood out was a German brand, Leifheit, who specialise in household products. I actually like this brand and have some of their things in our Berlin apartment, but had until now never seen them in China before. So we moseyed on over to have a look and see what kind of pricing they had for the Chinese market.
The salesgirl happily informed us that the clothes-horse was a quality German brand and is currently on special. Originally 1,899 RMB, it is now only 1,299 RMB. We were quite shocked to hear this and double-checked what we heard was correct; 'Yes, it's only 1,299RMB today.' Christoph then swiftly brought up the product on his phone through the German Amazon store and showed the salesgirl how much a person in Germany would pay for it; 34.99 EUR (converts to 258 RMB).
The salesgirl was completely stunned! She couldn't believe it! We showed her the product on amazon.de and compared the product name and number. She was speechless while we were quietly giggling. We promised her that we wouldn't tell anyone in the store how much it really costs in Germany and wished her luck on a sale :-)