High-tech sports apparel brand 2XU has opened its very first Hong Kong store, adding to the Australian firm’s 100-plus wholesale points-of-sale already operating in Hong Kong.
Located in the prestigious area of Causeway Bay, at number 77 Leighton Road, the 930 square-foot-store is the official Hong Kong flagship for 2XU, and is the first standalone store for the sports apparel brand in the Asian city. The debut also follows the success of its Hong Kong e-commerce platform, which launched at the end of 2015.
In Asia, 2XU currently boasts a total of 20 stores. However, it is eyeing a retail assault in the region, which has already started – the Hong Kong flagship opening marking such beginnings.
In an interview with Retail In Asia, co-founder Jamie Hunt said the Asian market is set to become the largest sales region for 2XU over the next ten years. According to the former-triathlete, 2XU sales grew by 74% within the Hong Kong market in 2016, and increased by 51% in Asia overall.
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Such growth means the sportswear company has already confirmed plans to open offices in Japan. Moreover, the high-performance-meets-fashion brand has recently signed a distribution partnership in South Korea, and signed a joint venture with a partner in China to enter the market there.
While 2XU is known as a sportswear company, which sells performance fabrics, it has managed to link itself to the world of fashion. Recent collaborations include tying up with Kanye West for the last Yeezy show, and it is often showcased as athleisure clothing through the help of celebrities.
According to Hunt, 2XU’s success is a mix of “great performance” and “great design.”
Founded in 2005 by Clyde Davenport, Jamie Hunt and Aidan Clarke, Melbourne-born 2XU cut its teeth on compression tights, which remains the brand’s bestseller. The tights help increase blood flow and stop muscle shakes during hard workouts, as well as diminishing post-workout soreness.
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By gaining recognition and popularity in compression pieces, 2XU has managed to invest in new fabrics and product styles. From running gear to gym gear to cycling gear, new products are constantly coming out.
Moreover, brand growth can be observed through the evolution of 2XU collections. Originally a conservative and classical company, Hunt says 2XU has decided to give “more vibrancy” to its customers by offering in the next collection series more colours and prints.
The design team at 2XU has even developed a special collection for hot climate countries like Hong Kong. These include compression tights and tops made with specifically light fabrics and cooling properties, such as cooling jade fabric, which helps cool the body down 1.5 degrees.
Yet, sober, simpler designs are still the crux of the brand, says Hunt, for a reason.
“I want to see a garment we did five years ago and still think that it looks good,” he adds.