I was looking for the pub at the top of London’s South Molton street last week, as it’s always nice to drop by for a pub lunch to give tired feet a break from shopping. Imagine my surprise when I found it had been replaced by China’s largest down clothing retailer Bosideng.
It cost Bosideng 14 million pounds to build and a further 21 million to buy the freehold from the Hog In The Pound pub which occupied the space previously. But that’s pocket change for most Chinese companies!
Quite nice to see Chinese brands expanding their presence in other markets as previously it’s been mostly one way traffic with international brands moving in to China (I’m sitting here eating my Subway sandwich and drinking Coca Cola while staring at my Dell computer to illustrate the point). But despite this prime location just off Oxford Street, I am not sure how successful they will be. The shop was empty and I am sure part of the reason was that nobody in England will have heard of them.
It is happening though more and more though. Li Ning supply the apparel to the Spanish men’s and women’s basketball team for example and Qingdao based home appliance maker Haier has huge sales and production facilities in America. And of course, there is already one Chinese luxury clothing brand, Shanghai Tang, founded by David Tang, the son of my mum’s friend, but that’s now owned by luxury group Richemont.