The Kooples reveal Asian retail partner, readies Hong Kong flagship debut
French affordable luxury brand The Kooples has appointed Swire Resources to managed its distribution network in Asia. A Hong Kong flagship has been confirmed for opening this month, ahead of store openings in China and Macau in 2018.
“The Kooples’s Greater China launch has been long awaited," said Laetitia Mergui, CEO Asia of The Kooples. "We cannot wait to meet our first customers in Hong Kong in November and in Mainland China in 2018.”
The first Kooples’ flagship store under Swire will open in November 2017 at Pacific Place, one of Hong Kong’s most iconic shopping malls. The store size and exact product offering is yet to be revealed.
As the exclusive regional distributor for the brand, Swire Resources looks to help The Kooples gain a foothold in the fast-growing Greater China market, "where consumers have an increasing appetite for international accessible-luxury and affordable-lifestyle brands," according to a press release.
“After expanding in the US, the Middle East and Korea, we are thrilled to open our first flagship store in Hong Kong with new partner Swire Resources” said Emmanuel Stern, CEO and Co-founder of The Kooples.
“The Kooples is a family affair and we are excited to welcome Swire Resources as the newest addition to the family.”
In the fiscal year ending August 31, The Kooples' revenue totalled some €220 million, on par with the previous year. At the time of the announcement, the firm's management said Asia is a crucial growth driver, adding it could bring the 400-store brand to the next development level.
"It's a major growth target, said Nicolas Dreyfus, General Manager of The Kooples, in a interview with FashionNetwork.com, back in September.
"We have opened pretty much everywhere in Europe, and in the USA four years ago, so Asia is the label's next challenge," he added.
In mid-2017, The Kooples appointed an Asian subsidiary director: Laetitia Mergui, the former COO for Balmain Asia. Mergui will now to spearhead the new store openings in Asia, alongside Swire.
Founded in 2008 by French brothers Alexandre, Laurent and Raphaël Elicha, The Kooples currently boasts more than 400 stores in 36 countries. In Asia, the label currently operates a handful of retail outlets - stores and retail corners - in Thailand and South Korea.
Swire Resources is a major distributor and retailer of sports and lifestyle footwear, apparel and related accessories in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Macau.
It holds exclusive distribution rights for outdoor and lifestyle brands including Aldo, Arena, Cath Kidston, Chevignon, Columbia, Emu, Havaianas, Jockey, Mountain Hardwear, Rebecca Minkoff, Repetto, Rockport, Soludos, Speedo, Teva and Ugg.
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