* Company a mass-market player in China
* Targeting wealthier customers in the West
* May open a store on New York's Fifth Avenue
By Mohammed Abbas and Alice Baghdjian
LONDON, March 14 Chinese clothing giant
Bosideng's first foreign store in London may not be profitable
in the near term, but the company says it is already ramping up
plans to open another in New York.
With China no byword for luxury fashion, the British arm of
Bosideng International Holdings is striving to change
perceptions and improve awareness of its high-end brand.
The company is a mass market player at home, where it has
8,000 retail outlets. In the West, it is seeking with its wool
blazers and dark suits to place itself alongside brands such as
Hugo Boss and Ted Baker.
Wayne Zhu, chief executive of Bosideng's British operations,
said the 35 million pound ($53 million) store in an upmarket
district of London's West End had been well received since it
opened last year.
"We're at the early stage, but we did see some initial
success. Our designs were well received by the industry and
customers and we have seen sales picking up month by month," Zhu
said on the sidelines of a China-Britain business conference.
British retail sales grew at their strongest annual rate in
almost two years last month, the jump bolstered partly by demand
for big-ticket items, while clothing sales rose at their fastest
pace in five months, industry data showed.
Experts see growing interest in niche luxury brands and even
big names such as Gucci are doing well, with owner PPR
last month posting forecast-beating annual profits.
Bosideng wants to enlist a brand ambassador in Britain and
is looking at the fields of film, music and sport.
Zhu said the company was looking at long-term goals rather
than immediate profits and that UK sales so far had been in line
"It's a strategic move for the company. When we made a
decision it's to look at the future, the next five to 10 years,
not the next one or two years, in which the store may not be
profitable," he said.
"The next potential is New York. The New York office is
actively looking for property ... potentially Fifth Avenue," Zhu