FIRST PREMIUM DEPARTMENT STORE IN ASIA
In 2015, Lane Crawford celebrated its 165th anniversary. The store was the first of its like in Asia and among the first department stores in the world.
The origin of the famous department store can be dated back to August 1850, when two Scots, Thomas Ash Lane and Ninian Crawford, opened a sea biscuit shop in a makeshift bamboo structure on the waterfront of what is now Des Voeux Road.
Since that time, Lane Crawford has occupied a number of prime retail sites along Des Voeux Road and Queen's Road Central; in the early 1900s it also had stores in Guangzhou and Shanghai in China, and Kobe and Tokyo in Japan. It has been a tailor, an outfitter, a draper, a provisions dealer, a wine and spirits merchant, an auctioneer of antiques, a bakery, a restaurant and a bar.
After the world wars, Lane Crawford was forced to rebuild from scratch, and so it began to expand its import/export division from foodstuffs to include luxury items such as cosmetics and pearls.
The 1960s in China, like the entire western world, was a period of change for Hong Kong fashion. Popular music and movies generated a strong demand for Western-style casual wear and Lane Crawford started selling imported fashions.
In the ‘70s the climate was right for professional fashion design. Many local designers began to make a reputation for themselves, including such eminent names as David Shee-kwan and Tsui Yun-cheung who came onto the fashion scene. By 1978, jewelry accounted for sixty percent of sales.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, pop culture exploded on the scene with everything a-go-go at parties, on the radio and at the movies. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones lead a tidal wave of Western pop music and rock ‘n’ roll that was propelled further by local idols Sam Hui and Teddy Robin. Youngsters were soon desperately seeking trendy Western fashions. Lane Crawford became the torch for the Asian market of young consumers.
Today, the store’s focus has shifted from department store to specialty store offering exclusive brands. Its stores in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai sell womenswear, menswear, shoes & accessories, lingerie, jewelry, cosmetics, and home & lifestyle goods from around the world.
In October 2013, Lane Crawford opened its Shanghai flagship store at Shanghai Times Square and changed their concept to an interpretation of the philosophy of a big luxury “multibrand store” where the service is much more personal and intimate
Lane Crawford seeks to stand out as a brand by emphasizing its distinctive product selection, retail environments with displays of modern art, and services such as Personal Stylists and Concierge.
From the 1800s to the modern day, Lane Crawford has made itself an establishment in the fashion industry. With e-commerce and innovative retail tactics, the store has kept up with changing times and can be expected to do so far into the future.