I’ve written in the past about the huge growth forecast for ecommerce in China over the next few years. As it turns out, this economic trend is being seen across Asia, in Hong Kong as well as India. And although Asia has many companies with varying models of ecommerce, vertical ecommerce is picking up steam with investors who want a better profit stream. Vertical ecommerce is a direct-to-consumer business in which the website is strictly online, and the company manufactures, markets and distributes the product. One such company that is having particular success with this model is a site called Lots of Buttons.
The chinese market is a fast paced, expensive, and forever changing market. This makes it extremely difficult for luxury brands like Gucci to maintain and keep up with their store openings and new locations there. However, Gucci has now decided to renovate their existing stores there rather than adding new locations. This is what WWD has called the “à la carte” approach in their article by Joelle Diderich earlier this week.
I spent Presidents’ Day the traditional way this year. I went shopping. After a radiator exploded in the apartment above mine, causing a rusty leak in my bedroom ceiling, I set out in search of a new mattress set.
Mattresses strike me as the ultimate “touch and feel” item. I tried to research the best products online, but it was hard to know how any given make or model would feel without trying it out. The vocabulary in use is blunt and unhelpful (a mattress may be “plush,” “firm,” or—most-SEO-friendly-of-all—“plush firm”). And since returns are bound to be difficult and expensive, I saw no choice but to shop in store.
In the growing sophistication of any consumer we will begin to see them move away from the superficial attraction of the bling of a luxury brand to a more calculated purchase that involves knowing and investing in the story behind the brand. It appears that what that transition looks like for the Chinese consumer is searching out quality in construction and a brand with a story. Not far removed from an era described as the “Bamboo Curtain” by LVMH group president, greater China, Andrew Wu, the Chinese are starting to come into their own understanding the importance of supporting the small designer, investing in European indie brands and turning toward homegrown luxury brands that prove to have both depth and style.
Apax Partners, a global private equity firm finalized its acquisition of Cole Haan from NIKE, Inc this
past Friday in a press release. The acquisition was previously announced, but on its completion, Apax
Partners and Cole Haan also named the new CEO of Cole Haan: Jack Boys, the former CEO of Converse,
Inc. and The North Face. Cole Haan was founded in 1928 and sold to Nike in 1988.
Jack Boys will begin his tenure as CEO of Cole Haan, effective immediately. Boys was quoted on his new
post: “I am thrilled to work with the Cole Haan team to build on the brand’s incredible legacy.
Sequential Brands Group, Inc. announced this week that its acquisition of Heely’s, Inc. is now finalized. The merger places Heely as a subsidiary of Sequential Brands Group. The deal closed with Heely’s selling at $2.25 a share, or $63 million. Heely’s, Inc., is the action sports brand most popular with children and teens for its line of innovative wheeled footwear. Sequential Brands Group is apt to acquire Heely’s as
the group also owns and licenses brands such as William Rast, People’s Liberation and DVS.