British label Paul Smith to re-enter China

Photo: Paul Smith
British fashion label Paul Smith said Tuesday it was planning to open 24 stores in China over the next five years in its second attempt at tapping the country's booming luxury market.

The brand, known for its signature multicoloured stripe, will open a flagship store in Shanghai in December under a five-year partnership deal with Hong Kong-based distributor ImagineX.

"We hope China will become a significant market for us," founder and designer Paul Smith said in a statement.

The plan will mark the second attempt by the brand to crack the Chinese market. It first opened a store in China in 2004 but reportedly pulled out in 2007 due to losses.

Apart from the Shanghai flagship store, Paul Smith is expected to open six stores in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chengdu by the end of next year. The brand has over 150 shops globally.

China is forecast to be the world's top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has said.

Smith made his name in the fashion industry after opening his first shop in 1970 selling menswear. He branched out into women's clothing 15 years ago.

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