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Brooks Brothers, Walton Brown announce JV in Greater China
20
Oct '15
America's oldest retailer Brooks Brothers Group, Inc and Walton Brown Group, a subsidiary of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Asia's premier fashion retail and brand management group, have announced a joint venture that will drive Brooks Brothers' market expansion throughout the region.

The 50/50 joint venture, with an initial term of 10 years commencing January 2016, will leverage the strengths and capabilities of Walton Brown in strategic retail brand management in Greater China and the global appeal of Brooks Brothers, one of America's most iconic clothing brands, augmenting its dynamic growth across the Greater China region, Walton Brown said in a press release.

The joint venture will take over the management of Brooks Brothers' existing retail network of 90 stores in the territory and will activate a strategic expansion plan to open more than 10 points of sale in the first two years across key cities in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In addition to freestanding stores, the joint venture partnership will see a deep investment in a multi-channel distribution platform providing wholesale, outlets, travel retail and e-commerce channels to bolster brand presence and fuel business growth in the region.

Building on the success of Brooks Brothers' ready-to-wear menswear and accessories collections, the product offerings within its women's collection and accessories lines will be enhanced with the appointment of Zac Posen, one of America's most influential designers, as the Creative Director for women's wear. His highly anticipated first women's collection will debut in Spring/Summer 2016 and will be available worldwide.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Walton Brown on this exciting joint venture which enables us to develop long-term growth strategies across multiple online and offline distribution channels especially in China, one of our most important growth markets for our global business. We are confident in China's growth prospects in the premium sector for the coming years and this is the optimal time for us to position Brooks Brothers for long term sustainable growth," said Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of Brooks Brothers.

Thomson Cheng, President of Walton Brown, said, "In the 12 years Brooks Brothers has been operating in China, the brand has built a strong following of customers who subscribe to its unique heritage and rich history of design and quality craftsmanship. With the foundation in place, we believe the brand has enormous potential with the new generation of sophisticated and prosperous consumers in China and with the launch of the online business in 2016 we will be able to significantly increase reach with this consumer segment."

Following the formation of the joint venture, Brooks Brothers and Walton Brown will establish a corporate office and showroom in Hong Kong in early 2016, the release said.

Brooks Brothers operates more than 460 stores worldwide including over 130 retail stores in the Asia Pacific region, 90 of which are in Greater China. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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