SHANGHAI — Since Hugo Boss entered China more than three decades ago, it has relied heavily on franchise partners to help the brand expand across the country. Executives say the result of that strategy is that Boss’ recognition across China is incredibly strong.
But there has been a downside to the brand’s reliance on a franchise model in China: Chinese consumers mainly know Boss for its more affordable sportswear lines, which sometimes are sold next to more mass-market or private-label brands, particularly in malls in second- and third-tier cities. That means it has been difficult to not only manage Boss’ image but also to educate consumers about the premium and luxury collections that are an intrinsic part of the brand.
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