Lane Crawford, Hong Kong's leading specialty store Featured

A remarkable chain of concept stores dating back to 1850
by 13 April 2010

Lane Crawford is Hong Kong’s leading specialty store, offering the largest assortment of international brands in Asia. The five stores in Hong Kong and one store in Beijing specialize in presenting the newest selections of the absolute best in Womenswear, Lingerie, Menswear, Shoes and Accessories, Jewellery, Cosmetics, and Home and Lifestyle.
Founded in 1850, Lane Crawford has a rich history and close association with Hong Kong. Since then, the company has shifted its focus from department store to specialty store, while maintaining a commitment to anticipate the customers’ needs and to continue to innovate, and excite and inspire.

In 2004, Lane Crawford launched a new flagship at IFC Mall. With a panoramic view over Hong Kong’s harbour, the 82,000 square foot store over one level consists of a series of gallery-like rooms showcasing designer fashion and lifestyle brands alongside custom-made art pieces.
In 2005, an entirely different design and feel was developed at Lane Crawford Pacific Place – one that is modern and spirited through the use of innovative materials, technology and lighting.
In 2007, Lane Crawford undertook the next phase in its evolution strategy by rolling out its model in Greater China. Located in Beijing’s Seasons Place Shopping Centre, a 80,000-square-foot store represents an HKD300 million investment and employs more than 300 staff. The store features more than 600 brands, of which more than 50 percent was new to the Beijing market when the store opened and many of them remained to be exclusively available in Beijing. Furthermore, in November 2007, Lane Crawford launched an entirely new home store at Pacific Place, featuring the best of innovative interior design. The home store celebrates contemporary and 20th century design through the best linens, chinaware, furniture, decorative accessories by leading designers from around the globe.

Lane Crawford has stores strategically placed in the heart of Hong Kong’s prime real estate areas: IFC Mall in Central; Pacific Place in Admiralty; Times Square in Causeway Bay; and Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui; and at Seasons Place Shopping Centre in Beijing. The stores’ unique product range, services and interior settings are pivotal to the brand. Unparalleled services include a Concierge service, dedicated Personal Stylists, and a Cosmetics Concierge to provide everyone who enters our stores with a personalised experience. The environment is designed to excite all the senses, from the interiors to our continually updated, award-winning visual merchandising displays and exhibitions.

Lane Crawford's name and history dates back to August 1850, when two enterprising Scots, Thomas Ash Lane and Ninian Crawford, opened a shop in a makeshift bamboo structure on the waterfront of what is now Des Voeux Road. Lane and Crawford were merchants in Hong Kong, and their aim was to provide goods to ship's crewmen and colonial staff of the British military and their families.
The demand for foreign goods was so great that Lane, Crawford & Co quickly expanded into larger premises and within a year had established itself as the colony's first department store.
Since that time, Lane Crawford has occupied a number of landmarks along Des Voeux Road and Queens Road Central, and in the early 1900s, it had stores in Canton, Shanghai, Kobe and Tokyo. It has been a tailor, an outfitter, a draper, a provisions dealer, a wine and spirits merchant, an auctioneer of antiques, a baker, a restaurateur and a bar owner.

Wherever it has been based, whatever its product ranges, Lane Crawford has always held a prominent place in the Hong Kong community. Through good times, it has provided the finer things in life. Through troubled times – strikes, social unrest and war – it has provided essential services: "medical comforts" during the Bubonic plague (brandy, wine, sherry, champagne, beer and other spirits); food for thousands of evacuees from China during the Japanese occupation in the 1930s; and bread from its bakery during WWII.
After the war, 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 Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and Mikimoto pearls. By 1978, jewellery accounted for 60 percent of sales, buyers were scouring the world for the finest fashion lines and the company slogan had evolved from "The Place To Buy Anything From A Pin To An Anchor" (1899) to "Get It At Lane Crawford's" (1926).
Today, the focus has shifted from department store to specialty store. Lane Crawford is in the business of anticipating its customer needs and providing them with merchandise they cannot get elsewhere. The company holds true to the ethos of its founding fathers – quality, innovation and integrity. Its stores offer a wide selection of international brands in Womenswear, Menswear, Shoes and Accessories, Lingerie, Jewellery, Cosmetics, and Home and Lifestyle throughout its stores in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Today, Lane Crawford is managed by Jennifer Woo, President of the company. Ms Woo is also the Deputy Chairman of Lane Crawford Joyce Group (LCJG), Asia’s premier international brand group with six individual companies operating more than 500 stores in 49 markets in the region. LCJG houses influential multi-brand retailers Lane Crawford, Joyce and Pedder Group, while Imaginex and the Lane Crawford Joyce Group Distribution Company, specialise in the management and distribution of international fashion brands throughout Greater China and Asia.
Since 1999, Ms. Woo has held various positions within the Group, working in operations, merchandising, marketing, and finance.
In October 2007, Ms Woo launched the first new model Lane Crawford store in Beijing, China, to rave reviews from the industry and customers. At 80,000 square feet and employing more than 300 staff, the store represents a HKD300 million investment, underscoring Ms. Woo’s commitment to the China market. Lane Crawford will roll out a number of wholly- owned stores throughout China in the next five years.

In 2008, Lane Crawford received the prestigious International Retailer of the Year Award in New York from the National Retail Federation, in recognition of the progress the company has made over the past five years.
As President of Lane Crawford since 2003, Ms. Woo has implemented some of the most fundamental changes in the company’s 159-year history. The architect of Lane Crawford’s modernisation strategy, she has successfully repositioned the business from a traditional department store to a dynamic specialty store with the largest selection of international designer fashion brands in the region. With a merchandising offer and an innovative five-star approach to service that is benchmarked by other international retailers, Ms. Woo has created a model that will take Lane Crawford well into its third century of operation.

Click on the links for more on Lane Crawford stores:
Lane Crawford IFC Mall, Hong Kong
Lane Crawford Pacific Place, Hong Kong
Lane Crawford Seasons Place, Beijing

Click for complete listings for Lane Crawford stores