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US subscription rental service Le Tote expands with China debut

Le Tote

American subscription fashion rental service Le Tote is making its international debut with Le Tote China.

The San Francisco-based company said the launch is still in beta phase with a full roll out expected to the China public in spring 2018.

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Le Tote is the first US subscription service to launch in China, according to the company, in a press release.

“To be the first US subscription service in China, the largest e-commerce market in the world, is an opportunity that is both humbling and exhilarating,” said Rakesh Tondon, Le Tote Co-Founder and CEO.

“Regulatory restrictions are particularly tough and our partnership with Clement allows us to enter a market that so few venture-backed companies have been able to penetrate. With the launch of Le Tote China, we’re now able to reach a target demographic of over 400 million women – and we’re still in the early days of the country’s middle-class boom.”

Le Tote has partnered with Chinese retail veteran, Clement Tang, to facilitate the Asian move, naming Tang Le Tote China CEO. Tang also invested in the subsidiary, leading the investment for Le Tote China.

Tang worked for almost twenty years at Belle International, the largest shoe retailer in China, having most recently served as Executive Director and President, until the firm was acquired for $6.8 million.

Providing women with the ability to rent unlimited clothing and accessories for a flat monthly fee, Le Tote China will provide the same service as its US operator. Tote has leveraged its domestic business model, proprietary technology and in-house talent to transpose the service for the international market. Starting small, some 3,000 ‘Founding Members’ have been selected to participate in the launch, with others placed on a waiting list.

“China is a nuanced market with its own cultural norms, standards and expectations. We can’t simply cut and paste the Le Tote experience,” said Clement Tang, Le Tote China CEO.

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“We are eager to work with the Founding Members to deeply understand the market and deliver a service that truly resonates. We know that the average per capita income in China is growing 10% year over year and 60% of disposable income is spent on fashion. The Chinese consumer is primed and ready for the future of retail, but has not yet had access to a solution like ours.”

Le Tote China is headquartered in Shenzhen with satellite offices in Beijing and Hong Kong. The distribution centre is in Dongguan, with plans to expand to Beijing and Shanghai as well.

 

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