Bosideng Goes Global

Where is everybody?

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 Imagine my surprise when I found it had been replaced by China’s largest down clothing retailer Bosideng.

A bustling Nanjing Road branch of 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.

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9 Responses to Bosideng Goes Global

  1. T. says:

    You know and I know that Shanghai Tang is from the 852.

  2. WoAi says:

    @T – Yes, indeed. But still. It’s China now. Sort of. Just like the Diaoyu Island :-)

  3. Swiss James says:

    I think this is one of those occasions where the whole shop is just an advert for the brand.

    Myeong-Dong in Seoul is the same (according to some bloke I spoke to in a pub)- you can’t justify the huge rent by the income of the shop, but you can make a noise about how you’re up there with the big dogs.

    What the hell do they sell anyway? Old man clothes?

  4. Bittermelon says:

    I was surprised to see Li Ning supplied the swim suits for the US women’s diving team.

    By using the term Diaoyu aren’t you afraid the great filter in the sky will come down on your bloc?

  5. WoAi says:

    @Swiss – Yes, it’s flag planting a bit like some foreign brands in China. Holland & Barratt for example just opened up near my office!

    @Bittermelon – Diaoyu is what the islands are called here so it’s not going to upset the censor. In fact this is the sort of thing the government here loves. Stir up nationalistic feelings of outrage to distract from other issues. A bit like George W Bush did a few years ago!

    And yes, Li Ning actually has lots of sponsorship deals. Swedish Olympic team as well I think.

  6. Mike says:

    I’d be surprised if many people could even pronounce the name of the shop/brand properly. I wonder if they consider these things when setting up in a new country?

  7. WoAi says:

    @Mike – Yes, I doubt they considered that. But maybe they didn’t want to create a new brand name as that is their name. It’s like Coldplay’s latest album which they decided to call “Mylo Xyloto”. I wanted to buy it but didn’t know how to ask for it in the store!

  8. CP says:

    I can’t tell for sure but it looks as if the gentleman in the photo inside the shop window is sporting a spiv moustache. Perhaps that’s putting off the locals?

  9. WoAi says:

    @CP – It does look a lot like Paul Rutherford from 80s group Frankie Goes To Hollywood which I think says it all!

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