Timberland plans China expansion

North American outdoor wear brand Timberland plans to grow its presence in China, with 40-50 new stores planned annually over the next five years.

Timberland, which operates 150 stores since it entered the market six years ago, is bullish on Chinese market as demand for outdoor leisure sector burgeons, despite the challenging economy at present.

“China has been Timberland’s fastest growing market over the past three years, and we expect it to maintain that growth over the next five years,” said Stewart Whitney, VP and MD of Timberland Asia Pacific.

“In recent years, Chinese consumers are paying much more attention to outdoor lifestyle and we only see that increasing in coming years,” he added.

Whitney said Timberland will also boost cooperation with dealers; the brand currently has 20 dealer partners.

The Chinese outdoor leisure sector is led by US brand Columbia Sportswear, which operates 530 stores in 135 cities since its first opening in 2004. It also formed a joint venture with Swire Resources to bolster its operation in the mainland.

The outdoor apparel market in China has been growing at an average rate of 47.33 per cent annually over the past decade, says China Textile Commerce Association. The sector’s total revenue stood at 10.76 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) last year.



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