The Qixi festival stems from a simple romantic tale, but luxury brands have made it their own
News from China: the western celebration of romantic union, Valentine’s Day, has been dumped. It’s not you, it’s me or, rather, it’s a scheduling issue. Falling during Chinese new year, Chinese millennials and Generation Z-ers struggled to make time for it. Perhaps more critically, it wasn’t working for global luxury conglomerates.
Instead, taking advice from McKinsey, that well-known enabler of romance, luxury brands have helped Chinese lovers shift their allegiance to Qixi, the traditional Chinese festival of love. Also known as the Double Seventh (it falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month), Qixi was celebrated last Friday. You can probably still hear the cheers from the conga line in the boardrooms of purveyors of luxury handbags. Because, although Qixi springs from the simple love story of cowherd boy meets weaver girl and cross a bridge of magpies to be together, it has also proved capable of delivering super-size sales. The real hookups are between luxury brands and WeChat, one of the most powerful apps in the world, with one billion monthly active users of its messaging and payment services.