Hyundai’s fashion unit targets Chinese market

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Hyundai’s fashion unit targets Chinese market

Handsome, the fashion subsidiary of Hyundai Department Store, will enter the growing Chinese market with two casual brands - System for women and System Homme for men.

The company said Monday that it hopes to secure at least 50 retail channels in China and generate 150 billion won ($130 million) in total sales through 2020.

Handsome’s first store in China will be a System Homme shop inside the Hangzhou Tower Shopping Mall, a luxury department store in the eastern city of Hangzhou that sees around 300,000 visitors a day. The store will be located on the second floor alongside imported premium labels like Armani Jeans and CK Jeans.

In March, a shop with both System and System Homme will open inside another luxury shopping complex in Hangzhou, the Kerry Centre.

“Real estate prices and department store revenue in Hangzhou’s Wulin District [where the Hangzhou Tower Shopping Mall is located] are the highest in China,” a spokesperson for Handsome said. “The region has purchasing power for luxury goods, and the numbers of tourists here are increasing as well because it is adjacent to Shanghai and Beijing.”

Hyundai Department Store said it plans to open four System and System Homme shops in Hangzhou by the first half of this year. In the second half, it hopes to open six more shops in Beijing and Shanghai.

Until recently, Hyundai Department Store hasn’t shown much interest in expanding overseas, but it’s taking a different tack with Handsome, which it acquired in 2012.

In September, the fashion subsidiary signed a deal with Hangzhou Zhiheng Industrial to exclusively distribute System and System Homme clothes to Chinese retailers. Hangzhou Zhiheng Industrial manages around 700 stores for apparel brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Brothers.

Hyundai Department Store has also been expanding its foothold in the domestic market. In December, it acquired SK Networks’ fashion business for 326 billion won.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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