Wenzhou Clothing Brands Launch into the International Market

On August 7, Semir announced in its Semi-annual Report 2018 that while maintaining a sustained growth, its children's wear brand Balabala opened two stores in Hong Kong in the first half of the year to speed up its overall layout in the domestic market, which would be used as a strategic stronghold for the brand to cultivate its domestic market and tap into the international stage.

With the gradually mature market of domestic consumers, big international brands are walking down the altar. In contrast, domestic clothing brands began to set foot in the global market and open stores overseas while taking a firm stand in the home market. Among those pioneers are Wenzhou's clothing brands such as Balabala and JZ who may become international brands in the eyes of overseas consumers in the future.

Big Brands Expand theirOverseas Market Steadily

Earlier last year, Semir's kids wear brand Balabala opened its first store in the shopping mall of Al Othaim Mall in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which is also its eleventh overseas store. Having been the leader of children's wear brands in China, Balabala is extending its tentacles internationally.

Balabala's overseas layout can be dated back to 2014 when it opened a store of more than 100 square meters in Iran. Since then, it walked further towards its strategic development goal of the overseas market layout, openinga dozen stores with each measuringmore than 100 square meters in Iran, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries. In 2016, Balabala further launched into Saudi Arabia and signed a contract with M.Al-Abudul Karim, a local brand agent, to open 50 stores in Saudi Arabia within five years. As its next step, Balabala will enter Southeast Asia to seek new opportunities for development.

Earlier this year, the middle and high-end women's wear brand JZ, subsidiary to Anzheng Fashion Group founded by the Wenzhouese Zheng Anzheng, also made a good start overseas by making a high profile with a show themed with MADE BY JUZUI in Milan Fashion Week. However, this was only the first step for Anzheng to go overseas. Later, it declared to cooperate with Runxiang (Macao) Co., Ltd. to establishJinrun Fashion (Zhuhai) Apparel Co., Ltd., and explore overseas markets of wear brands.

Niche Brands Get into the Overseas Market Coincidentally

If Balabala's overseas layout is the strategic choice of a big brand, then it is a coincidencefor small brands like 132 and Love for Fashion to set up stores overseas stores.

In 2015, the sports fashion brand 132 opened a brand chain store of more than 1000 square meters in a 5 storey building in a mainstream commercial street where high-end brandscluster in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. After its opening, it has always been the most popular high-end men's wear brand in the locality.

Interestingly, the agent of this chain store, after traveling to China and purchasing clothes of 132, became a loyal fan of the brand, buying its clothes for many years. Then, he visited the brand's company in Wenzhou for agency. As he has a great local strength, the brand soon won the favor of a number of consumers after its introduction to Vietnam, becoming a high-end brand in the eyes of local consumers.

132 Brand General Manager Chen Rongrong told that it is highly feasibleand plain sailing to open a chain store in Vietnam because Vietnamese consumers, similar in body shape to Chinese consumers, require no modification of the clothing style.

Love for Fashion is a niche designer brand with a very distinct national style. Its founder Jin Bingqiong is a very romantic Wenzhouese woman, whoopened dozens of chain stores in Wenzhou, Hangzhou and other places. And her clothes, by coincidence, were taken to the overseas market by fans, harvesting a small number of loyal fansin some European countries.

Domestic Wear BrandsQuicken their Pace of Overseas Layout

With the increasingly fierce competition in China's apparel industry, some domestic wear brands are switching their attention overseas. YISHION made the attempt early and has gained a foothold in India and Southeast Asia. According to industry feedback, its overseas sales fare well, accounting for 5%- 10%. ANTA started its overseas market in 2016, and has already covered many countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Not long ago, HLA opened its ninth overseas store in Singapore, which has once again aroused a heated discussion about the layout of domestic wear brands in the international market. Zhou Jianping, Chairman of HLA, revealed at the shareholders'meeting that HLA's sales in overseas markets in 2017 reached 6.168 million yuan, with a gross margin of 56.77%, far exceeding its combined gross margin of 39.62% in China.

While pursuing international brands, we domestic consumers look forward to seeing more domestic brands become international brands for overseas consumers in the future.


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