Clothing chain SuperGroup has officially launched in China, praising the work of the UKTI in helping it chase its $351bn fashion market.
The launch event held at the British Embassy residence in Beijing followed the announcement of the joint venture agreement between SuperGroup, owner of the Superdry label, and Trendy International Group on July 9.
The agreed partnership to bring Superdry to China will see an investment of up to £18m on a 50:50 basis across a minimum period of ten years. The joint venture was evolved from an initial introduction from the UKTI.
SuperGroup, set up by Dunkerton on a Cheltenham market stall in 1985, said the Chinese clothing market, with a current total retail value of $351bn, presents an “immense opportunity” for its Superdry brand, particularly as it is forecast to become the largest apparel and footwear market in the world, overtaking the US this year.
The partnership with Trendy, a retailer which already operates 3,000 stores across China, “will offer invaluable market insight and knowledge”.
Trendy will manage the joint venture with a focus on operations and logistics in China, whilst SuperGroup will provide support from the UK, concentrating on brand guidance and merchandising.
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Euan Sutherland, chief executive officer at SuperGroup, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in our joint venture with Trendy. We are excited at the prospect of entering this market with such an established and experienced partner.
“We look forward to gaining a deep understanding of the Chinese market and customer, and this launch marks another significant step in Superdry becoming a global lifestyle brand.”
Also in attendance was the UK’s secretary of state for Business, Innovation & Skill (BIS) Sajid Javid. He said: “We are delighted to see British brand Superdry join forces with Trendy International Group as they continue to further their international expansion in mainland China.
“For decades, fashion has been at the core of British culture, something Superdry knows only too well. 2015 marks the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange and both markets have a great deal they can share with each other.
“Chinese consumers have a huge appetite for British brands so Superdry is well placed for success. Good luck to both SuperGroup and Trendy International as they embark on this auspicious partnership.”
Jacky Xu, founder and chief executive of Trendy International Group, commented: “Today, there is an increasing shift in consumer tastes in China, as individuals are moving away from the luxury brands to those more influenced by pop culture. We believe Superdry is well placed to take advantage of this shift, presenting an excellent opportunity for our new partnership.”