HanesBrands plans to double Champion Asia store network

US apparel company HanesBrands plans to double its Champion Asia store network within two years. 

The company has just announced a partnership with LF Corporation in South Korea which will see its store network there expand from around 10 now to more than 30 by the end of next year, with a further five-year expansion programme planned beyond that. LF Corporation will also develop an online offer there. 

LF Corporation directly operates more than 1400 stores in South Korea, including for fashion brands Daks, Hazzys and Lafuma.

The South Korea Champion partnership is part of a broader strategy by HanesBrands to expand the brand’s store footprint throughout Asia. There are currently more than 200 Champion Asia stores and shops-in-shops across Asia, including in Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which represent two thirds of its global network. 

HanesGroup says it wants to more than double the number of stores and shops in those markets within two years. 

Beyond Asia, the company is also continuing to open stores in Europe, the US and Australia, and is pursuing a distributor retail model to open stores in Mexico, Central America and South America.

Jon Ram, HanesBrands’ group president of global activewear, described its new South Korean partner as “a highly accomplished large-scale distributor” that operates a large network of department stores, shop-in-shops, street shops and online platforms.

“We are looking forward to the growth that we can generate through the growing power of the Champion brand combined with the retail, e-commerce and brand building expertise of LF,” he said of the ambitious Champion Asia plan.

LF plans to locate retail stores and shops-in-shops near and in the country’s major department stores and shopping malls. In addition, LF will distribute Champion products to the company’s Around the Corner multi-brand lifestyle-apparel stores and to other parts of its online and store network.

“Champion is a global leader in sports performance and athletic casualwear apparel and is particularly appealing to younger consumers in their teens and 20s,” said LF Corporation MD Yoo Hyosang. “We believe Champion has the positioning to be an upscale brand in Korea, and we plan to use a dual-distribution strategy of opening Champion stores and expanding points of distribution in other store channels and online platforms. We are eager to tap the growth potential of Champion in Korea.”

Champion has doubled its global net sales in the past three years with strong double-digit compound annual growth rates in the US, Europe and Asia. Popular with celebrities, sports figures and pop culture artists, the brand has more than 7 million followers on Instagram and has collaborated on apparel offerings with other leading apparel brands, designers and retailers, including Todd Snyder, Kith, Supreme, Urban Outfitters and Vetements.

Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, HanesBrands sells products under brands including Hanes, Bonds, Maidenform, Playtex, Bras N Things, L’eggs, Lovable, Wonderbra, Berlei and Gear for Sports. 

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