China's Li-Ning opens first Canadian stores
China sports brand Li-Ning is coming to Canada with the opening of two standalone retail showrooms in Ottawa, as well as in the Greater Toronto Area.
The showrooms in Burlington, Ontario near Toronto and inside Ottawa’s RA Centre, a not-for-profit organization, were carefully chosen as about 30 percent of the current Canadian Li-Ning business can be found there, according to a press release announcing the news.
To date, Li-Ning's extensive collection of racket sport equipment, shoes and apparel have been available in the country at specialty dealers via a distribution and licensing agreement with official partner and distributor, LN Distribution Inc.
The company began distributing Li-Ning sporting goods in the fall of 2012.
"We’ve been working with the Li-Ning headquarters in Beijing, China for about eight years and it has been an extremely positive experience,” said Len Carter, president of LN Distribution Inc.
“Li-Ning is a leader as a company and brand because the people are progressive and easy to work with and in the wake of global political divergences, we are merging cultures and countries through the cooperation of sport.”
Li-Ning has also diversified its presence in Canada with a mix of tournament, club and athlete sponsorship programs to help promote and grow its sports in Canada such as Badminton, Table Tennis and others.
The company is banking on Canada being a strong market with about 50 percent of Canada’s global immigration coming from Asia since the turn of the millennium - mainly from China where Li-Ning is the official brand of many Olympic teams and athletes making it a household name.
Carter also said that he expects every major city in Canada to soon have Li-Ning showrooms with a national corporate store and franchise offering currently in the works.
The company will equally be expanding its product line with plans to introduce a full range of fashion forward activewear in 2021.
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