American fashion and denim brand True Religion announced on Thursday plans to expand across Greater China, signing a licensing agreement with local distributor, Aurorae Group, owner of Evisu Group.
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The Los Angeles-based brand said it plans to open a mix of 65 freestanding stores and shop-in-shops by 2026, growing to a total of 108 by 2028.
In addition to physical retail, the partnership will also expand True Religion’s e-commerce presence in the region, including shopfronts on Tmall.com, JD.com, Douyin.com, and Dewu.com, among others.
True Religion’s own direct-to-consumer e-commerce business will continue to focus on key markets, specifically growing North America, it said in a press release.
“Expansion into the Chinese market has been on our roadmap for the past several years, so we are very excited about our partnership with the fantastic team at Aurorae Group,” said Michael Buckley, chief executive officer, True Religion.
“The right partner is key to success in China, and Aurorae’s proven local market expertise will enable us to successfully grow True Religion’s presence throughout mainland China as well as in Hong Kong and Macau.”
As distributor, Aurorae Group will have the rights to sell the full range of True Religion’s assortment, including core denim, heritage products, and collaboration collections.
True Religion’s classic signatures—its iconic stitch, horseshoe logo, and man with guitar—will be available throughout the collection. Under license, it will also develop product across men’s, women’s, kids apparel and accessories specifically designed for the Chinese market, and collaborate with locally important partners and talents.
“We are enthusiastic about this partnership,” said David Pun, chairman and chief executive officer, Evisu Group. “We are looking forward to introducing True Religion to a new wave of Chinese consumers and leveraging our comprehensive relationships and extensive retail networks in Asia to bring the brand to unprecedented new heights.”
Looking ahead, True Religion said the Chinese market is expected to represent 10% of the company’s global brand volume by 2026.