Luxury U.S. pâtisserie Lady M is pulling out all its stores in mainland China on September 10. 

The brand’s exclusive operator Shun Lee Shanghai Commercial Management Company Limited, announced on July 21. Lady M requested the closure after both sides had failed to agree on a new contract.

The abrupt termination came after Lady M said earlier this month that it would switch to a direct company-owned model in China to spur growth. Shun Lee and Lady M have not renewed their license agreement since it expired on April 9 this year.

As Bake Magazine reported on July 14, the chief executive officer of Lady M Ken Romaniszyn said, quote, “Lady M is looking forward to taking a direct role in elevating the China business, a market that is pivotal to our growth strategy. We are fully committed to strengthening our presence, and to continue serving our loyal customers by having the ability to maintain and operate our boutiques to our brand standards,” end quote.

Romaniszyn added that the company would focus on developing the China market with new concept boutiques and innovative product offerings. 

According to China Economic Weekly, a staff member at Lady M Shanghai Lujiazui Central Store said the boutique burst with orders after the news of the closure came out. At 12:00 p.m. on July 21, about 15 stores in Shanghai had to close their takeaway channels.

Lady M is also referred to as the Hermes of desserts in China. It was founded in New York in 2001. The pastry shop entered the mainland market in 2017 and successively opened 23 stores across the country. Its shops can be found in Shanghai, Hangzhou 杭州, Nanjing 南京, Beijing, Shenzhen 深圳, Xiamen 厦门, and Guangzhou 广州 cities.

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