The Kooples finds Asian expansion partner, targets early Hong Kong, China openings
The Kooples is looking to Asia as its new expansion horizon. The Parisian fashion label, keen to grow internationally, is about to announce the signing of a partnership deal with a local retail player. In the past, The Kooples had already set its sights on the Asian continent, opening the occasional store, but this time it is a question of a genuine expansion effort across several markets.
In Asia, the label currently operates a handful of retail outlets - stores and retail corners - in Thailand and South Korea notably, but it is about to shift into high gear. According to our information, two new The Kooples monobrand stores will open in Hong Kong in November, inside the Pacific Place and Harbour City shopping malls.
Above all, the new partnership will lead to the opening of the label's first stores in continental China, from 2018. For the time being, The Kooples' only presence there is a retail corner at the Galeries Lafayette department store in Beijing. The opening of other, similar retail formats could also be on the cards, since the Galeries Lafayette, partner of The Kooples, is planning further stores in China. At the same time, The Kooples is set to bolster its China introduction by launching a dedicated e-tail site, which is currently being evaluated.
In the medium term, after Hong Kong and China, the Parisian label and its local partner are also considering Japan.
In the fiscal year closed on 31st August, The Kooples' revenue was around €220 million, on par with the previous year, and Asia is a crucial growth driver which could bring the 400-store brand to the next development level. "It's a major growth target, said Nicolas Dreyfus, General Manager of The Kooples. We have opened pretty much everywhere in Europe, and in the USA four years ago, so Asia is the label's next challenge," he added. Before the summer, The Kooples also appointed the director of its Asian subsidiary: Laetitia Mergui, the former COO for Balmain Asia.
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