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Korean fashion companies rev up overseas push amid domestic slump

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South Korean fashion companies are accelerating efforts to tap into overseas markets amid a prolonged domestic slump, industry watchers said.

Shinsegae International Inc., the apparel arm of retail giant Shinsegae, said it is planning to open three more VOV stores in China 2017.

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The company currently runs 48 branches of the womenswear brand and aims to post 40 billion won (US$35 million) in sales from the 51 stores in 2017, it said.

Together with G-CUT, which opened its ninth store in China last year, Shinsegae International said its goal is to rack up 150 billion won in the neighboring market in 2020.

In August 2017, LF, the apparel affiliate of LG Group, launched its brand HAZZYS in Paris-based concept store Colette, thereby advancing to the European market.

Earlier in February 2017, Handsome Corp., apparel unit of Hyundai Department Store Group, opened stores for its casual brands SYSTEM and SYSTEM HOMME in Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

The upmarket French department store is the largest chain of its kind in the European country and is famous for selling numerous designer labels that are favored by customers with deep pockets.

The fashion division of Samsung C&T Corp., the de facto holding company of Samsung Group, is also revving up efforts to expand its presence abroad, opening branches at department stores in New York and Hong Kong.

SEE ALSO : THAAD pushes Korean retailers to South East Asian markets

The size of the domestic fashion market is predicted to reach 39.3 trillion won in 2017, up from an estimated 38.3 trillion won in 2016, according to a report by the Samsung Fashion Institute.

This would mark the fourth consecutive year of single-digit growth for the fashion industry, causing many industry watchers to view it as an effective slowdown. The market expanded 11.8 percent on-year in 2011.

(Source: Korean Herald )