Apparel: O2O initiatives fuel strong sales growth
Brands expand at home and abroad
The apparel category increased 14 percent after a decline of 5 percent a year ago. The two apparel brands included in the BrandZ™ China Top 100, Anta and Heilan Home, both increased in value, driven by the premiumization trend and strong sales. Total apparel sales increased 9.2 percent for the first half of 2018, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. During the same period, apparel e-commerce sales increased 24.1 percent.
These trends helped sportswear brand Anta increase a substantial 27 percent in value. The brand is
well-positioned with its multi-brand and O2O (online/offline) strategy and its alignment with Chinese government’s support of wellness and fitness, and its promotion of sports as a demonstration of national soft power.
Celebrating its tenth year as a publicly-traded company, Anta designated 2018 as the year of “Innovation Unleashed and Delivering on our Multi-Brand Strategy.” Sponsorship at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea helped Anta build global awareness and position the brand for export. To position itself for expansion in Europe, Anta prepared to acquire the Finnish brand Amer Sport Oyj.
Menswear brand Heilan Home also benefited from the positive apparel sales trend and its O2O initiatives. Heilan Home added to its almost 6,000 physical stores in China, and it entered into an agreement with Meituan, to have the lifestyle brand pick up online orders in stores and deliver them to customers within about an hour.
Heilan Home also expanded its e-commerce business with stores on Tmall and JD.com. Its stock spiked after an affiliate of Tencent invested in the brand as part of Tencent’s growing interest in retail. The relationship potentially will drive more traffic to Heilan Home.