Chinese Whispers: Mo&Co. Parent Company Exits Hong Kong Market Temporarily & More

In “Chinese Whispers,” we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that have yet to make it into the English language. In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • Mo&Co. Parent Company Exits Hong Kong Market Temporarily
  • Amid Singles Day Festival, JD Launches “China Hip” Program
  • Valuation of Chinese Sportswear Group Anta Exceeds Lululemon
Group announcement in Chinese.

“The temporary exit from the Hong Kong market will not influence the group’s mainland sales,” wrote Chinese apparel group EPO in a public announcement on October 21.

Mo&Co. Parent Company Exits Hong Kong Market Temporarily – Fashion Business Daily 
The Chinese apparel group EPO released a statement on Monday evening that the social and economic situation in Hong Kong has seriously affected the long-term development of the apparel retail industry, and it has decided to temporarily withdraw from the market. It looks like EPO won’t be the last one to do so, as many brands are taking a wait-and-see approach until the end of the year to renegotiate retail spaces or possibly shut down. This pessimistic sentiment was echoed by an LVMH executive, who predicted at Paris Fashion Week that if protests are to continue, Hong Kong risks of becoming “just like any other second-or third-tier cities in China.”

EPO group recently closed 14 stores in Hong Kong, namely stores of sub-brands such as Mo&Co., Little MO&Co., and Edition. Since its establishment 15 years ago, MO&Co. has built a cool-girl style that is deeply rooted in millennials. It is one of the most successful women’s wear brands in China and a case study of exporting overseas. EPO Fashion Group has since developed a different portfolio of brands, including high-end women line Edition and the children’s wear line, Little MO&Co., with the newly launched men’s wear line, Common Gender. It was said the group still maintains a double-digit strong growth every year.

Exclusive China hip collection made by and Chinese beauty brand Marie Dalgar.

Exclusive China hip collection made by and Chinese beauty brand Marie Dalgar.

Amid Singles Day Festival, JD Launches “China Hip” Program – Jiemian
Riding on the 70th anniversary and raising national pride sentiment, more and more local brands and e-commerce platforms have begun to launch relevant marketing campaigns. On October 21, e-commerce giant announced the launch of the “China hip” program, hosting a series of online and offline sales in cooperation with multiple homegrown brands, include Feiyue, Pehchaolin, Huili, Li Ning, Perfect Diary, LNBR, INXX, HiPanda, etc., covering categories from clothing, sports, luggage, beauty. This is one strategy for JD to stand out from the noise of overwhelming promotional plans for Singles Day this year.

Anta Sports store in Shenzhen. Photo:

Anta Sports store in Shenzhen. Photo:

Valuation of Chinese sports group Anta exceeds Lululemon –
The share price of the Chinese sports group Anta has risen by more than 5% in the past 5 days. The market value once exceeded 200 billion Hong Kong dollars and recorded HK$2017 billion. It surpassed the Canadian brand Lululemon in recent years to become the world’s third largest sportswear group, behind Nike and Adidas. Founded in 1994, Anta has transformed itself from a producer of Adidas and Nike sports shoes to become a quality brand itself. It owns the China business of Italian-South Korean brand Fila and its kids’ line, as well as the Japanese brand Descente, among others. Its CEO has emphasized the key to the group’s success: “The growth and earnings reflect the success of the multi-brand strategy. In one line, that is the best part [of the business].”