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Asia: the hot spot for retail expansion

European retailers such as Warnaco, Desigual and Grupo Cortefiel head to MIPIMAsia this November, as they look to expand their presence in Asia.

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Shopping Center China

Last June, CBRE published a new report citing that more than half of the shopping malls being built on the planet today are being built in China. Perhaps this doesn’t come as a surprise as we have all been witness to staggering economic growth in China over the past few years. But if we narrow it down by keyword, this new statistic is absolutely extraordinary: Half the planetRetailChina. This impressive and rapid development will no doubt have a direct impact on the strategic plans of European and American retailers, as they desperately try to grow their brand(s) amidst an unrelenting economic hurricane. That’s why we are seeing more and more retail brands and groups like Warnaco, Desigual and Grupo Cortefiel reaching out to Asia as a newfound source of inspiration for business expansion.


According to CBRE, “Due to the rapid increase of middle-class populations around the world, shopping center developments are on the rise to satisfy growing consumer demand,” Sebastian Skiff, executive director of CBRE Retail in Asia told Shanghai Daily on Thursday. The consumer is a middle-class that likes Prada and Wal-Mart (WMT) and earns as much as Americans in some businesses.

 

Desigual, with a sustained annual growth of 50% is present in more than 8,800 points of sale in 72 different countries. Their clothes are already featured in the best shop windows of Asian countries such as Japan, Hong Kong, and Korea, and hope to continue this expansion and promoting their brand vision: “Have a good time, be thrilled, play, enjoy and be bold” through innovative shopping experiences through creative light design and colorful décor in and outside their shops.
Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Springfield and Women’Secret are the four brands that make up Grupo Cortefiel, which also owns Fifty Factory, a chain of outlet stores. Present in 64 markets , with 1,729 points of sale, they launched a strategic collaboration with ScarVic to promote international brand retailers to expand their businesses into Asia. China Grupo Cortefiel’s brands are adapting to this new Chinese fashion market and international luxury requirement with accessible prices for the new middle class.


In terms of operating profit, Asia continues to be the regional leader for Warnaco Group, home of fashionable brands like Calvin Klein, Chaps and Speedo, and intimate apparel retailers Warner and Olga. In 2011, Warnaco saw its Asian business (approx 17 million euros) bring in more revenue than its domestic U.S. market (16 million euros). It’s no wonder that they are actively seeking greater expansion in the region.

 

2012 is set to be a very busy year for MIPIMAsia, with key developers and investors eager to negotiate deals worldwide, beckoning up to 200 retailers from around the globe…many who will be new to the Asian market.

For a more comprehensive look at all retailers attending MIPIMAsia this year, check out our Retail Summit!

 

Image: Flickr d’n'c

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