Lifestyle and fashion brand Björn Borg is launching into China in 2012, after setting up a joint venture to handle its distribution in the country. The underwear, clothing, footwear and accessories brand plans to establish sales in Shanghai during the second half of 2012, and aims to position itself among the ‘growing legion of fashion-conscious young people’ in the country.
Primarily the brand will target through Björn Borg stores and shop-in-shops in large department stores, offering underwear, sportswear, footwear and bags, as well as planning to include an e-commerce offering.
“Our expansion into China is another important step in paving the way for Björn Borg’s future growth. We believe that Björn Borg will attract a growing middle class that wants strong, personal brands. With a knowledgeable and well-connected partner, we expect good opportunities to build sales in one of the world’s most important consumer markets,” says Arthur Engel, CEO of Björn Borg.
The expansion comes in partnership with Penny York, who has previously held senior positions in the Chinese garment manufacturing and brand company, Dragon Crowd, for which she built up the international underwear brand Schiesser in China, with over 500 points of sale.
“We look forward to establishing Björn Borg in China and believe that the brand fits the Chinese market well, especially considering the colorful and trendy design. With Björn Borg’s unique brand profile and a well-planned and long-term enterprise we see strong potential for the brand in the country,” says Penny York, future CEO of Björn Borg’s Chinese operations.
For the Chinese operations, Björn Borg will be the majority owner with 75 percent, while the local partner will own 25 percent. The Chinese venture is expected to have a negative effect on Group operating profit of maximum SEK 10 million and a marginal effect on revenue in 2012. For 2013, the negative effect on operating profit is expected to be lower.