Hunkemöller to open 47 stores in China over next five years
European lingerie brand Hunkemöller has announced the opening of its first Chinese store in Shanghai and plans to open a further 46 locations in the country by 2023.
The rapid expansion will see the Dutch label open five stores in China this year, including the newly opened shop in the Century Link shopping centre located in Shanghai’s Pudong New District.
In line with the brand’s store concept, the first Chinese location is complete with a Private, Noir and HKMX area, and also showcases Hunkemöller’s fashion collection. The brand said the 230 sq mt space has digital features that are specifically designed for the Chinese market which will “unlock new levels of engagement”, but didn’t provide further details on what exactly these elements are.
Hunkemöller has been growing rapidly in Europe over the past decade. The lingerie brand was founded in 1886, but it wasn’t until 100 years later that it started becoming an international business. The number of Hunkemöller stores grew from 800 in 2016 to over 930 this year, with the brand having a bricks-and-mortar presence in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria and Russia. In Germany, its biggest market, the brand has 400 shops.
Hunkemöller’s recent global expansion has been boosted by the support of private equity firm Carlyle Group, which became a majority owner in the business in 2016.
Interestingly, the lingerie brand will be competing in China with Victoria’s Secret, which staged its annual show in Shanghai in 2017 and has been increasingly focusing on growing its business there as American shoppers lose interest on its overt sexiness.
China’s $25 billion lingerie market seems lucrative enough to take up the challenge, but with plans to open about 40 stores Hunkemöller will be less widely available than Victoria’s Secret’s, which has about 53 sites, including lingerie and beauty stores, in Greater China.
Commenting on the expansion, Hunkemöller CEO Philip Mountford said: “Opening in China has been a natural progression where Europe’s leading lingerie brand meets the fastest growing economy, with a consumer that has a large demand for new global brands.”
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