Ryujee sets out to conquer Europe
Ryujee's objective is to expand rapidly thanks to its retail network. The Japanese brand was acquired two years ago by Alex Zhang, scion of an influential Chinese family, one of whose businesses is textiles. "It is a forty-year old brand which has been asleep for some time," said Gérard Colas, who is in charge of sales, having worked for several brands and managed a series of stores.
The business model relies on exploiting the Zhang family factories to offer unbeatable prices, hence margins, to retailers. In terms of positioning, Ryujee is young, urban and trendy, or "lifestyle", in its owner's words. In France, Ryujee is targeting stores which stock brands like Salsa, Ikks, Scotch & Soda, S. Oliver, Levi’s and Anerkjendt. The brand's headquarters are located in Paris, and the range features a wide selection of women's and men's apparel, which is expected to expand to footwear and eyewear very soon.
Retail prices start from €69 for a pair of jeans, €39 for a shirt and €25 for a tee-shirt. "We are targeting customers from age 15 and above, from students to hip businessmen," stated Alex Zhang. He is very discreet about the family group, which reportedly employs nearly 3,000 people in the Shanghai region in textiles alone, a business which is worth $290 million for the group.
Ryujee Paris was launched softly with the Spring 2016, and its first real collection will be Autumn 2016. The brand also exhibited at Who’s Next last January, and has already persuaded 120 retailers in France, 32 in Greece, 38 in the Czech Republic and 25 in Switzerland.
Ryujee's representatives are working to establish the brand in Europe and the USA. With the Spring/Summer 2017 collection it will hit the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
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