Jun. 10, 2009 (China Knowledge) - Luxury brand Gucci, which is owned by French retail and fashion group PPR SA, recently opened a flagship store in Shanghai, its 28th store in China, and to mark the occasion is selling a limited edition Shanghai Dragon Bag, sources reported.

Gucci had opened 25 stores in 17 Chinese cities by January 2009, including five in Beijing, four in Shanghai and two in Qingdao.

The company plans to launch two to four more stores this year in the country because China is likely to lead future luxury consumption despite the uncertainty in the global economy, Gucci CEO Patrizio Di Marco said in an interview with Reuters over the weekend.

The company will not back off and aims to have 40 Gucci stores in China, which has become a key area for the group's sales growth, said Di Marco. The brand already owns 50 stores in Japan and about 70 in Europe.

Sales of products under the Gucci brand in China, Hong Kong and Macao surged 41.5% in 2008, accounting for about one-sixth of PPR's total revenue.  

The company expects Chinese consumers to be the driving force of the luxury industry in the next few years due to the size of the market and improvements in transportation.

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