Drapers gives you an exclusive sneak peak of our Close-Up interview with Bosideng founder and chairman Gao Dekang, ahead of the full interview in this weekend’s edition.
What have the initial trading results been like since opening your London flagship opening in July? We have received very good, positive feedback from both media and consumers. Actually, when most consumers walk into the store they like the style, so the conversion rate of buying is pretty high. And of course we believe with more promotions we can attract greater footfall into the store. We have already seen a steady increase in sales, which we are pretty happy with.
You invested £30m in your London flagship, and bought the freehold. Why did you decide on that strategy? We have a long term plan here in the UK and if we rent the buildings it would cost us a lot. Whereas it will only take us 15 to 20 years to recoup the cost, and Bosideng has a very strong balance sheet and holds quite a large amount of cash which enables us to have the freehold.
What else do you have planned? We are currently working on a transactional website which may be launched for summer 2013. And we have also been talking with several high end department stores for concessions, which we may see a few of next year. At the same time we’re starting to look at other European countries to expand into.
Which other countries would you like to open flagship stores in? We have plans in the main markets around the world. Firstly in the US, because we’ve already got our wholesale business there. And then [eventually] Canada, Italy, and France. However, our first priority is to make our UK store a success.