Magazines Archives - 2007 August
Brown Shoe expands into China via Hongguos network
US footwear business Brown Shoe Co is expanding into China through a joint venture with Hongguo International Holdings Ltd, a Nanjing-based manufacturer and retailer.
Brown Shoe will hold the majority stake of 51% in the venture for which B&H Footwear Company Limited has been set up.
Over the next five years, the US group will be introducing China to its flagship brand, Naturalizer. Starting from this fall, it will take the brand to more than 400 locations in major Chinese cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Brown Shoe will launch its high-end Via Spiga line of ladies shoes next year to about 100 stores nationwide.
The US shoe companys chairman and CEO, Ron Fromm, regards the debut of his labels in the Chinese market as a significant milestone in Brown Shoes initiative to reach a global audience with its portfolio of footwear brands.
Also eager about the launch in China, Hongguo chairman Chen Yixi said: Naturalizer represents a new category of shoes that are in step with the changing preferences of Chinese women.
Chen pointed out: While theres always been an appreciation for the latest footwear trends, more and more women in China want to feel comfortable while still wearing fashionable shoes.
Said Fromm: This joint venture combines Brown Shoes strength in brand-building and marketing with Hongguos established store network and operational expertise in the retail industry in China.
Hongguo, which owns two flagship footwear brands for women, C Banner and E Blan, currently holds distributorship for premium fashion labels in east China. Last year, the Chinese company reported net profits of RMB90.6 million (US$11.9 million), and a total revenue of RMB594.3 million.
Brown Shoe currently runs 300 speciality retail stores in the US and Canada, alongside its own 1,000-store Famous Footwear chain.