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Business trends

Luxury brands go digital in China to cushion coronavirus blow

LVMH, Hermes and Kering hire online and e-commerce specialists

Global luxury brands are hoping that online sales in China can ease some of the pain from the coronavirus outbreak. (Source photos by Reuters)

HONG KONG -- Luxury brands are turning to China with aggressive digital campaigns in hopes of boosting revenue as the coronavirus pandemic paralyzes international travel and keeps brick-and-mortar shops shuttered.

In the past few months alone dozens of brands -- including Cartier, Montblanc and Prada -- have set up online shops in China. It is a trend that would have been all but unthinkable even a few years ago, when the idea of selling fine leather goods and exquisite jewelry online was looked down on by those in the industry. But that was before the coronavirus.

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