Mainland-listed Fashion Group Accelerates International Growth via Hong Kong
Hong Kong serves as the retail and international business development hub for balabala
The city is one of the world’s most attractive locations for retailers.
Established in 2002, balabala, with more than 4,600 stores globally, is a leading children’s fashion and lifestyle brand in Mainland China owned by Semir Group. Believing in the concept of “Same Childhood, Different Style”, balabala offers a vast range of joyful and colourful apparel, shoes, accessories and lifestyle items for children between newborn and 14 years old.
The company opened its first store in Hong Kong in 2018, eyeing on the city’s international status and sophisticated retail scene to aid its international expansion. Since then, the Hong Kong operations have gone from strength to strength, with new shops opened in 2021 and 2022.
Irreplaceable Gateway to the World
According to Eric Lee, Senior Brand Manager of Semir International Group (Hong Kong) Limited, retailers in Hong Kong enjoy a favourable business environment, thanks to the city’s advanced and sophisticated infrastructure, a low and simple tax regime, efficient logistics hub and robust financial system. Lee stated, “The retail market here is one-of-a-kind in the region; it is easy to start, operate and grow business here. We are amazed by local consumers’ spending power even during COVID-19. We currently have over 80,000 members in Hong Kong and the number grows every day. The city is one of the world’s most attractive locations for retailers.”
Lee continued, “Strategically located in the heart of Asia and connected to the Mainland, Hong Kong is a window to international markets. Hong Kong’s sophisticated consumer taste equips us with insights and learnings to expand in the global market. Together with the city’s logistics and financial capabilities, Hong Kong is the ideal springboard for international expansion.” With stores in markets such as Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and United Arab Emirates, the company plans to strengthen its presence in Asia, the Middle East and beyond via Hong Kong, leveraging the city’s unique positioning and competitive advantages.
Crafting Shoppers’ Experiences
balabala provides consumers with delightful experiences with product offering, innovation and creativity. Lee said, “balabala is committed to offering products with superb quality at affordable prices. By analysing and forecasting children’s fashion trends, we stay on top of the market. We work with world-renowned technology fabric institutions to develop skin-friendly, sustainable, and functional textiles. The brand also collaborate with designers, artists and character goods to launch new collections. Moreover, we talk to our customers in Hong Kong to get their feedback to improve our products and designs. With a wide array of products featuring creative designs and popular characters, balabala is able to captivate its target customers and gain growth momentum.”
With a strong belief in Hong Kong’s retail market, balabala is poised to open more stores and ramp up business growth. Lee explained, “Our various mega development projects will surely strengthen Hong Kong’s status as a retail and travel destination. We are identifying new store locations and exploring other retail channels such as department stores and shop-in-shops. We have also made a foray into online business to offer omnichannel retail, providing a pleasant and seamless shopping experience to our customers.”
Looking ahead, balabala plans to strengthen its foothold in Hong Kong and across the Mainland. The Hong Kong office will also continue to serve as a major hub to execute the company’s global expansion plan in terms of acquisitions, joint ventures and overseas franchising.
- Its first Hong Kong store was opened in 2018, currently it operates six shops in the city
- Its mother company, Semir Group, was founded in 1996 in Wenzhou. It became listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2011
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