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As The Underwear Expert reported back in December, Björn Borg, the Swedish underwear retailer, is making big strides towards a market presence in the burgeoning Chinese economy.
Beginning in Shanghai, the brand will open two to four retail outlets in China in 2012, either free-standing Björn Borg boutiques or in-store shops in large department stores.
Penny York, former senior executive at Chinese manufacturer Dragon Crowd who worked with the German brand Schiesser to expand its Chinese presence, will serve as CEO of the Björn Borg China operations. Björn Borg entered into a joint partnership in 2011 in order to operate in China.
“We look forward to establishing Björn Borg in China and believe that the brand fits the Chinese market well, especially considering the colorful and trendy design.” says Penny York, future CEO of Björn Borg’s Chinese operations. “With Björn Borg’s unique brand profile and a well-planned and long-term enterprise we see strong potential for the brand in the country,”
“We know there is a young crowd of consumers in China that has the money to spend on fashion brands, and we know the growth in the Chinese economy will be generated by services and retail,” said Arthur Engel, chief executive officer of Björn Borg. “I don’t think the big fashion club for underwear has been filled in China…There are underwear brands being sold for mature consumers on the fourth floor at department stores, but there’s not a lot of underwear in fashion colors and prints for younger consumers who want fashion. That’s what we specialize in and it will give us a competitive edge.”
The Björn Borg trademark is owned by Stockholm-based The Group. Björn Borg products are carried in 20 markets and have annual retail sales of around 1.7 billion Swedish krona, or $253 million.