Michael Kors Plans 100 Greater China Stores In Next 3-5 Years

Company Operates 231 Stores Worldwide

Michael Kors store at the Landmark, Hong Kong

Following the lead of other American brands looking to expand rapidly into the Greater China market in the next several years — among them Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch and Coach — this week the Hong Kong-based group Michael Kors Holdings Ltd announced plans to open 100 stores in the region with its flagship Michael Kors brand within the next three to five years. As the South China Morning Post reported today, quoting group chairman John Idol, Michael Kors, which currently operates 231 stores worldwide, is slated to open 15 locations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan by the end of 2012 alone.

According to Idol, cities in mainland China eyed for initial expansion include Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenyang and Nanjing. By April, Michael Kors shops should open inside the Sands and City of Dreams complexes in Macau, as well as one location in Hong Kong.

Currently running three locations in mainland China — in Tianjin, Shanghai and Suzhou — the fundamentals are there for Michael Kors to do well in the country. The core demographic for the brand is women in the 30-40 age group, and its flashy accessories should appeal in cities like Shenyang and Chengdu. But given its relatively late entrance into the China market, compared to competitors like Coach, Sergio Rossi and dozens of others, we’re curious to see if and how Michael Kors can harness social media and digital marketing to stand out in an already crowded “affordable-luxury” market.