05 MAR. 2012

New Brand Entering China: Hollister’s seagull is landing in Shanghai

Like Levi’s, Gap or American Apparel in the past, it’s time for the American Abercrombie & Fitch’s little sister Hollister Co. to take a step into the Chinese market. The famous “SoCal” style brand wants to replicate the success it had in the United States and other parts of the world with the opening of its first store in China on January 4th, 2012. The store is situated on the third floor of Raffles City Mall, the center of Shanghai in People’s Square, with over 1000 square meters of space and replacing its previous owner Giordano.

A little less expensive than Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), the Californian brand Hollister also has a set of rules which govern their global branding, marketing and interior designs. Several elements in Hollister stores are used internationally such as dim lighting, strong olfactive and sound identity (nicknamed “HCO playlist”), wooden shelves, and plasma TV screens which broadcast Huntington Beach in California. Similar to A&F, employees have strict dress codes such as black clothing is strictly prohibited or girls are only allowed to wear minimal makeup and little or no jewelry.

What's different in China, however, is the frequent appearances of “Abercrombie & Fitch” beside the Hollister logo. Many suggest that the A&F brand is using its prestigious name to push Hollister and at the same time, allows consumers to become more familiarized with its own brand name. The strategic decision to open Hollister first before A&F can signal that the company might be testing the market and building up the momentum to open A&F braded stores in the future.

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