Lady M, an American luxury dessert brand, has recently made moves with some of its closed stores in mainland China. On November 4, the firm’s original five stores in Shanghai were suddenly replaced by dessert brand La Repete, which also featured Lady M’s trademark product, French melaleuca cakes.
The Lady M store on an underground floor at the Beijing Huamao Center has also been replaced by La Repete, which may be its first store in Beijing.
La Repete’s store in Shanghai Xintiandi, an affluent car-free shopping, eating and entertainment district, is no different from Lady M’s original store as a whole. It is an independent two-story small house with three doors and color features of orange and white. Previously, Lady M would put more than 10 square umbrellas with its logo in front of the door, which was very eye-catching. Now, they have been replaced by orange square umbrellas. La Repete also replaced the previous transparent glass stairs.
La Repete’s menu is divided into six categories, including sliced cakes, selected coffee, special drinks, 6-inch cakes, 9-inch cakes and tableware accessories. The main products are matcha and strawberry-flavored melaleuca cake, priced from 59 yuan ($8.38) to 66 yuan ($9.37), which is nearly 10% cheaper than Lady M.
There are 10 kinds of coffee, and the special drinks are mainly smoothies, milk tea and bubble water, all of which are priced at 29 yuan, 36 yuan and 39 yuan, which is much cheaper than Lady M.
Some media outlets said that La Repete is a new brand launched by Lady M’s original agent Shunliyuan. However, the clerks of La Repete’s stores in Shanghai denied this, saying that they are independent dessert brands and have nothing to do with Lady M.
According to business data platform Tianyancha, La Repete is held by Afternoon Time (Shanghai) Business Management Co., Ltd. The wholly-owned subsidiary of Shunliyuan announced the termination of Lady M stores in China in July, and since August, Afternoon Time has frequently applied for trademark registration related to La Repete. Since October, five Shanghai branches have been registered by Afternoon Time.
Lady M has been operated by its authorized partner Shunliyuan since it entered Chinese mainland in 2017. The cooperation between the two parties expired in April this year and has not been renewed. During the cooperation for more than five years, Shunliyuan has opened 27 stores for Lady M in mainland China, including 11 stores in Shanghai. Shunliyuan also spent huge sums of money to build three factories for Lady M.
On July 21, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Shunliyuan announced the termination of Lady M stores in the country before September 10 on WeChat. On November 11, Shunliyuan changed the name of Lady M’s official account on WeChat to its own name. Many netizens ridiculed this change, saying that “it feels like the brand will sell Chinese cakes soon.”