100 Retailers in Shopping Centers Released

China Chain Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) convened the Conference on Cooperation, Development and Exchanges Between Commercial Real Estate Developers and Chain Retailers in Ningbo of China’s eastern Zhejiang Province on June 9 and released the book 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.

CCFA has selected over 100 outstanding chain retailers from its members in various business formats, which have the ability to make expansion nationwide. The Association categorized them according to existing business formats and functions of shopping centers and offered information on different aspects of these brands, such as features of their image, traffic, expansion rate and development plan.
Some are international brands, some are famous brands in China and some are leading brands in regions, including department stores, supermarkets, home appliance stores and household stores and covering all business formats like apparel, fashion, catering, cosmetics, entertainment, education and service. These can meet the demands of commercial properties to attract investment from various stores and provide a wide variety of retailers for commercial real estate developers.
In addition to the information in it, the book has also given professional analysis and different views from experts of shopping centers on the industry’s current situation, trend, investment, financing, planning and design.
It is a great aid for commercial real estate companies to learn and attract investment of their shopping center programs.
Here are some comments by developers of shopping centers on the book:
It is quite useful! The book can give guidance on brand portfolio and combination of business formats and it is a professional reference for the management of shopping centers.
– Wanda Commercial Management
Shopping centers are drivers for creating a fashionable and prosperous city, while brands are the core competitiveness of shopping centers in the market. Best wishes to 100 Retailers in Shopping Centers.
-Sunshine100 Real Estate Group
The book has integrated resources and set up platform for information exchanges, a show of CCFA’s function and value. 100 retailers is the start and we are aiming at 1000.
-Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited
The book is an excellent reference to see clearly the essence and core value of shopping centers.
-Shopping Center Department of CR Vanguard
Reading the book will free you from the worries when you are developing shopping centers.
-COFCO Commercial Property Investment Co., Ltd.

Baoxiniao To Open 100 New Specialty Stores In 2009.

Chinese apparel group Baoxiniao has announced plans to open about 100 new specialty stores in 2009.

The company announced the plan during its 2008 annual general meeting and it was revealed that Baoxiniao will invest CNY107.94 million to build its chain marketing network in 2009. Under the company’s principle of prudence in opening new stores, it will limit the growth rate of its business suit specialty stores to about 7%. For fashion brand specialty stores, after the closure of poorly-performing stores, the total number of new stores will be around 100.

Zhou Xinzhong, the chairman of Baoxiniao Group, told local media that in 2009, its headquarters will start to build a modern distribution center and the company will select sites nationwide to open its specialty stores. It will develop at least as many sites in 2009 as it did in 2008.

Founded in 1996, Baoxiniao Group is a group that combines industrial management and capital management, and is involved in designing, producing and selling up market garments and acting as agent for international brands. The company currently operates apparel brands such as Saint Angelo, S. Angelo, and Bono.

Foreign brands look to Indian market to survive slowdown.

HOW about enjoying evening coffee at mobile Alto Cafe mini-van parked in your neighbourhood or trying out the newest flavour of fruit juice at Revive Juice outlet — the coffee and juice retail brands from France and the UK — in your very own city? Well, this may soon be possible.

Several American and European retail brands in segments as varied as fashion, cosmetics, lingerie, food & beverages, among others, are preparing to make their presence felt in the Indian market through franchise route, as a result of sharp drop in sales in these markets following economic slowdown. Certain brands from countries like the UAE, Brazil and Thailand are also eyeing Indian market.

“Drop in retail sales in Europe and the US markets are leading to this phenomenon. Retail brands that built great amount of manufacturing capacities are under pressure to offload excess inventories and are therefore entering into alternative sales practices by setting up their franchise in large-sized markets like India,” Gaurav Marya, franchising expert and president, Franchise India Holding, told ET.

Following the collapse of the international retail markets, several brands like Beverley Hills Polo (USA), Spa Siam (Thailand), Taman Gang Restaurants (UK) and others entered Indian market through franchise route.

Others like Revive Juice Bars (UK), Mrs Fields Cookies (USA), Jamba Juice (USA), fashion brand Jules (France), cosmetics brand Mikyajy (UAE), lingerie brand Nayomi (UAE), car-wash service brand Moly Company (Thailand), food & beverages brands Habibs (Brazil) and Herfy, BBQ Chicken (Singapore), Pizza Company and Spicchio Pizza (both Thailand), Marina Furniture (UAE), and Alto Cafe (France) are learnt to be at various levels of negotiation to start their services in India. Companies that have long nurtured ambition to enter retail-friendly markets like India and China are finding this a convenient time as sales in their own countries have tapered. They are trying to convert this as an opportunity to taste Indian waters, which they plan to do for 2-3 years before they decide on their future plans in these countries, says business strategy specialist Harish Bijoor.

“Several brands are looking for green pastures, and India having a decent GDP growth of 4.3% holds lots of potential for them. They are taking up franchise route as they cannot risk coming on their own at this juncture. This also means a big chunk of business coming in for entrepreneurs,” Mr Bijoor said.

Several brands are targeting grade B and C cities rather than expanding in metros, as smaller cities are more brand hungry and retail is not much hit here, say experts.

With the presence of limited brands in India markets, the country holds big opportunity for these brands as this would also help them re-route inventories and orders to new markets and keep their sagging sales volume intact. At the same time, their Indian counterparts are finding this a right opportunity to strike negotiations to their advantage,” added Mr Marya.

Hardcastle Restaurants to enter apparels business.

Hardcastle Restaurants to enter apparels through tie-up with city mill promoter Preethi Chamikutty MUMBAI HARDCASTLE Restaurants, the JV partner of McDonald’s India, is now venturing into the apparels business. The company will be bringing in two Disney brands — Disney Baby and Disney Jeans — into the country, in partnership with the Jalan family, the promoters of Mumbai-based Prakash Cotton Mills. The apparel business will be handled through the JV company, Global Trendz Retail (GTR).

GTR will set up ‘Bungee’ stores across the country that will house the two brands. Disney Baby is targeted at 0-4 years while Disney Jeans will target the 4-14-year olds. The company will bring in characters such as baby Mickey Mouse, baby Donald Duck, Pooh and Tigger among others. Speaking exclusively to ET, Hardcastle Restaurants MDAmit Jatia said: “After having dealt with the Indian consumer so closely through McDonald’s for the past 10-12 years, we feel, we have a good sense of their requirements.”

Kids apparel market in India is worth around Rs 13,000 crore, of which, branded retail is nearly Rs 3,000 crore and has been growing at 15-20% YoY. Gini & Jony, Weekender Kids, Ruff and Zapp! are some of the other brands in the kids-wear space.

Mr Jatia said GTR’s USP will be its price point proposition, ie, to offer value-formoney products. “The Indian consumer is price-sensitive and if you do not price your products right, then market penetration will be a challenge,” he said. GTR has opened its first Bungee store in Kalyan, a suburb beyond Mumbai. “Kalyan is a mid-segment market and is a representative of India in many sense. We shall be able to judge consumer reaction much better here,” Mr Jatia said. GTR plans to open 50 stores across 20 towns in 2009-10. Besides Mumbai, the company also plans to look at Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bangalore and Mysore.

Apart from standalone stores, Disney Baby and Disney Jeans will also be available in multi-brand outlets (MBOs) such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle and more. While stores in big towns would be owned by GTR, small town presence would be through the franchise route. “We will be looking at a mixture of both, as in outstation stores, a franchise can bring in local expertise which is handy,” Mr Jatia said. GTR will be investing over Rs 50 crore in store launches and market expansion over the next two years.

Arvind Verma, will be the CEO of GTR and will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the business. Mr Verma was head of Levi’s western India business and has over 15 years of experience in the garments industry. While Mr Jatia was very cryptic about what role the Jalan family will play, he said: “To keep our products competitively priced, we will be sourcing a lot of products locally. The Jalans have a lot of experience in the textile and manufacturing business, which will be useful.” What is not clear is whether GTR will be producing goods locally or importing them. But keeping Mr Jatia’s emphasis on price in mind, the Jalan family’s role could be more than just that of a promoter.

The Disney Baby brand internationally includes all kids-care products including food, toys and accessories, but at this stage GTR will only be looking at bringing in apparel products into the country.

Electronics, watches: friends not foes at retail

Vertu phones

Vertu phones

New York—When cell phones started hitting the mass market back in the early 1990s, it was clear that they would become more and more sophisticated, more laden with bells, whistles and conveniences, even as they got smaller and lighter.

It also became apparent as time went on that they would blend with personal computers, stereos and other electronics, to the point where consumers could carry the world around in a purse or shirt pocket.

At first, this explosion of small portable electronics made watch and jewelry retailers a little nervous: After all, if the phone serves as a pocket watch, why would you wear an additional timepiece on your wrist?

But as cell phones got fancier and more complicated, so did watches—to the point where now, some 20 years after cell phones emerged, the role of both items in the luxury market has changed.

Cell phones were once a status symbol, and it was considered the height of cool to take a phone call mid-meal at a hip restaurant. Today, it takes a little more than that to impress a client or a potential girlfriend.

At the same time, it has become a mark of taste and discernment to collect high-end mechanical watches. It seems that phones haven’t squeezed watches out of the luxury market so much as they’ve forced watchmakers to take their product to the next level. The result? Phones, other electronics and watches are all getting along just fine: often placed side-by-side in the same store, one category helping to sell the other.

“Our watch business is not at all threatened by cell phones,” says Andrew Block, the executive vice president of Tourneau, where Vertu phones have been available for the past five years. “We’re the biggest Vertu retailer in the country, and Vertu has a good chance to edge into our top 10 brands. The phones sell at an average price point of $5,000. They have some amazing features—global reach, an unbelievably strong signal, concierge services—but mainly, Vertu is an image thing. You don’t wear a Vertu on your belt. You walk into a room and put it on the table and say, ‘Here’s my Vertu.'”

Block expects more and more jewelers will carry high-end phones, and certainly watch companies will become more involved in electronics.

In fact, popular watch brand TAG Heuer plans to introduce a cell phone later this year (brand representatives would not provide further details until later this summer).

When the phone does hit showcases, Tourneau intends to carry it.

“Phones are great incremental business,” Block says. “They don’t take a lot of space, and a customer who will pay $5,000 for a phone won’t hesitate to buy a high-end, high-tech watch. I don’t expect people to collect phones the way they collect watches.”

From electronics to watches Meanwhile, at least one high-end electronics retailer is crossing over into watches. Abt Electronics in Glenview, Ill., the country’s largest single independent consumer electronics and appliance store—and arguably the fanciest—has opened the Abt Time Boutique, a store within a store that carries watches ranging from a $100 Skagen to a $12,000 Chronoswiss. Abt also carries one set of Omega’s “Moon Mission” collection—for $150,000.

Abt Electronics

Abt Electronics

“Watches were the No. 1 request in our customer surveys,” says Michael Abt, president of Abt Electronics. “We added the watch boutique last Thanksgiving, and we’ve found that in a lot of ways, watches are easier to sell than appliances: no delivery, no installation, no dealing with wiring.”

The company also does sell a lot of phones, and the average consumer, male or female, uses the phone as a watch, he says.

“But watches are more of a jewelry item—especially for men, since they can’t collect shoes or handbags the way that a woman does,” Abt says. “Seventy percent of our watch customers are men.”

A near-term goal for the retailer is to attract the highest-end watch brands, including Patek Philippe and Rolex.

“We’re maybe five years away from that,” Abt says. “It took us a long time to get the highest-end audio lines, and it’ll be a similar process: courting the manufacturers, getting them into our store to show them that we’re a luxury store, not an appliance dealer. We’ll have a watchmaker on premises by next year, once we’ve sold about 5,000 watches. We already offer basic services such as sizing and battery replacement.”

Meanwhile, Breil Milano, the Italian watch and jewelry manufacturer, has started using electronic gadgets as promotional devices: most notably a limited-edition MP3 player in the shape of a USB key.

The item was created to celebrate the opening of the first Breil Milano store in the United States, which opened in New York City this past April. But Fabrizio Cattaneo, the company’s U.S. marketing director, cautions watch manufacturers against allying themselves too closely with electronic goods.

“This MP3 player is not something we’re going to sell,” he says. “It was the perfect promotional gift, but we don’t want Breil to be perceived as a high-tech brand because that’s not who we are. We don’t promote technology, but we do emphasize innovation and new materials in our watches and jewelry, as well as new chemical treatments.”

High spenders darling of luxury retail biggies

CHANDIGARH/AHMEDABAD: Indian consumers are demanding and getting service extraordinaire from premium brands flocking the high streets. Indulgence, it seems, is the key to the consumers’ wallet. In-shop cafes, lounge areas, kids’ play area, personal stylist, manicures and spas are the new freebies that high retail spenders might expect at Indian outlets of Esprit, UCB, Samsaara, Tommy Hilfiger, Ritu Kumar, Estee Lauder, et al.

Some international brands are providing ‘frills’ to the well-travelled Indian consumer—an incentive to buy the brand at home. For example, Espirit India intends to have in-store salons and spas in select stores, a service that is not provided in its international stores. “The service expectation are exceptionally high (in India),” says Espirit (India) COO Manjula Tiwari.

Others like Estee Lauder will provide ‘frills’ because of their different (luxury) brand positioning in India. Wellness and beauty services seem to have become the complimentary norm for high-end women apparel retail. Spa facility, bridal makeup or photo shoot is offered to high spenders at Satya Paul and Samsaara stores while select shoppers at Ritu Kumar get complimentary ‘glow treatments’ at high-end beauty salons.

In-store cafes and lounges are also a new trend with both international and high-end Indian brands. Most brands right from Tommy Hilfiger, Esprit, Satya Paul to lifestyle retailer Shoppers Stop and table-ware brand Magpie have either introduced or are experimenting with this concept. “Women like to chat and hangout while shopping. Hence, we will have a lounge area in our new outlet of Samsaara at Bandra (Mumbai),” says Genesis Colors CEO Nalini Gupta.

Esprit India is checking out the feasibility of in-store cafes and play areas for children. While wellness, beauty, child-care and fashion advisors are mostly on the house; food and beverages could be paid facilities, depending on the shopping patterns. “The store is going to be spread over 5,000 sqft, out of which about 1,000 sqft would be devoted (one floor) to either a wine club or a sushi club or a cafe. It will be a paid service,” says Ms Gupta.

“Indian shoppers still aspire for the bling of a big brand, but it’s extended courtesies on the side that keep them coming back for more,” says CEO of an international label retailing in India.

Brands have also started offering complimentary product maintenance and styling help to select customers. United Colours of Benetton offers free dry cleaning for suits bought at its men formal wear brand Uomo. Wills Lifestyle and Estee Lauder plan to offer personal stylist and makeover help to the high-end regular customers.

Luxury watch boutique chain Ethos offers free home delivery of watches. Connected services like strap size adjustment is on the house “regardless of whether the watch is bought from us or not”, says Ethos GM Rakesh Mohunta.

Global retailer Giordano International planning to expand in India

Global apparel and accessory retailer Giordano International is planning to expand in India. The company is present in India through its exclusive distributor, Giordano Fashions India, which is owned by Dubai-based Emirates Trading Agency (ETA) group.

While talking to Indiaretailing, Ramesh C Rath, chief executive officer, Elite Brands Pvt. Ltd, Giordano said, “The expansion is on the cards. We are planning to come up with more than 25 stores this year. Also, we are coming up with stores in tier II cities like Aurangabad, Pune and Nasik.” Giordano at present has five stores in India – in Chennai, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai.

Established in 1981, Hong Kong-headquartered Giordano is among the most well-known and established apparel retailers in the Asia-Pacific region. Worldwide, the company has over 1,700 stores operating in Greater China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, North America, India and the Middle East. It owns four brands – Giordano, Giordano Ladies, Giordano Junior and Bluestar

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