Superdry held a catwalk show at the British Embassy in Beijing today (September 22) ahead of its bricks-and-mortar launch into China next year.
The event was attended by business secretary Sajid Javid, as well as current and former Chinese government officials. Javid said he was “delighted” to see a British brand further their international expansion in mainland China.
“For decades fashion has been at the core of British culture, something Superdry knows only too well,” he added. “2015 marks the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange and both markets have a great deal they can share with each other.”
Superdry will open two stores in China in mid-2016, after its parent company SuperGroup signed a joint venture agreement with LVMH-backed Chinese retailer Trendy International Group. The two firms will invest a combined £18m in the rollout over the next 10 years.
SuperGroup said the Chinese apparel market, which has a current total retail value of $351bn (£227bn), presents an “immense opportunity” for Superdry. China is forecast to become the largest apparel and footwear market in the world, overtaking the US this year.
SuperGroup chief executive Euan Sutherland said: “Today marks a significant milestone in our joint venture with Trendy. We are excited at the prospect of entering this market with such an established and experienced partner. We look forward to gaining a deep understanding of the Chinese market and customer.”
Trendy International, which has around 3,000 stores across China, will manage the day-to-day operations of stores in China, while SuperGroup focuses on branding and marketing.
Jacky Xu, co-founder and chief executive of Trendy International, said: “There is an increasing shift in consumer tastes in China, as individuals are moving away from the luxury brands to those more influenced by pop culture. We believe Superdry is well placed to take advantage of this shift, presenting an excellent opportunity for our new partnership.”
In July SuperGroup posted a 2% rise in underlying pretax profits to £63.2m for the year to 25 April. Sales rose 12.9% to £486.6m.