North American children’s specialty apparel retailer The Children’s Place, has signed an exclusive licence agreement for Greater China.
Its partner is Zhejiang Semir Garment, the parent of Balabala, China’s largest specialty children’s apparel retailer, with the agreement covering Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
“This unites two of the world’s largest children’s apparel retailers, both with long and outstanding track records of success,” says The Children’s Place president/CEO Jane Elfers. “Entering the China market through this strategic partnership is a game-changer for our international business, and is clearly a case where one plus one equals three.”
Elfers says the young children’s apparel market is already one of the fastest-growing categories in China. “It is currently estimated to be worth US$24 billion and, with China’s two-child policy firmly in place, is forecast to double by 2025.”
Semir, through its Balabala brand, runs and franchises about 4400 children’s apparel stores as well as having the largest children’s apparel ecommerce business in China through its partnership with third-party platforms such as JD, Tmall and VIP.com.
“Over the first five years of this agreement, Semir will execute an omni-channel strategy by opening at least 300 Children’s Place locations in Greater China and running The Children’s Place e-commerce business,” says Elfers. “This partnership is projected to generate $125 million to $150 million in retail sales in year five.”
The Children’s Place designs, contracts to manufacture, sells at retail and wholesale, and licenses to sell fashionable merchandise at value prices, primarily under the proprietary The Children’s Place, Place and Baby Place brand names. The company has 1014 stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, an online store, and 190 international points of distribution run by seven franchise partners in 19 countries.
A multi-brand fashion apparel company founded 21 years ago, Semir went public in 2011 on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It has two major brands: Semir (adult casual category) and Balabala. It runs and franchises about 8400 stores in China, with revenue of $1.9 billion.