RM Williams eyes China expansion

RMWILLIAMS-1Boot retailer RM Williams will open stores in China later this year, according to a report by the Australian Financial Review.

The decision to expand into the fast growing consumer market was made by brand-owner L Catterton Asia, with chairman Ravi Thakran telling the AFR he expected at least a 50 per cent lift in earnings and a 40 per cent increase in sales supported by the expansion.

The Chinese market has been rapidly proving its worth to retailers, with Starbucks China vowing to double its store-count over the next five years and Prada sales slipping in every market barring China, where it saw a modest 4.6 per cent growth.

A recent report by Azoya Consulting and Frost & Sullivan found that 87 per cent of local brands view the market as a lucrative opportunity – with over 500 million online shoppers in China.

The study found that Australian retailers are moving to invest in their owns paths to the Chinese market, hoping to sell directly to the consumers rather than through e-commerce platforms.

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