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Asia’s Retail Giants

The top apparel and footwear retail companies in China, India and Japan ranked by estimated number of stores in 2007.

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The top apparel and footwear retail companies in China, India and Japan ranked by estimated number of stores in 2007.

Apparel and footwear retailers are competing for valuable real estate in China, India and Japan. So, who are the key shoppers in the Asia-Pacific region? In China and Japan they’re young, female and fashion-conscious, which means the majority of retail giants cater to them. Meanwhile, in India, men’s wear and footwear dominate the top five retailers in the country. Another factor in retail expansion — the Olympics. China is a hub for sports retailers, and many, such as top-ranked Li Ning, are seeking to capitalize on the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. — Cecily Hall

CHINA:

1. LI NING CO. LTD.
Total estimated store count in China at the end of 2007: 5,000
Li Ning is one of the leading sports brand enterprises in China. The group manufactures and sells products through its own Li Ning retail shops. Products include sports footwear, apparel and accessories. “Strong economic growth and rising consumer spending…coupled with the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, have created a favorable macro operating environment for the Group,” chairman Li Ning said of the company’s financial performance last year.

2. ANTA SPORTS PRODUCTS LTD.
Store count: 4,500
ANTA Sports is Li Ning’s biggest competition in China. On Jan. 16, the company opened a flagship in Shanghai, its fourth in China. ANTA, founded in 1994, offers basketball footwear, tennis footwear, outerwear, bags, hats and caps, socks and protective gear.

3. TEXWINCA HOLDINGS LTD.
Store count: 3,386
Texwinca Holdings Ltd. acquired the Baleno trademark in 1996 and formed Baleno Holdings Ltd. The retail chain, whose stores operate under the Baleno name, has grown significantly in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the Middle East over the last decade or so. There are more than 3,700 locations worldwide. Baleno offers fashionable, casual apparel to teens and young adults.

4. PRIME SUCCESS INTERNATIONAL GROUP LTD.
Store count: 3,264
Prime Success International offers products primarily under its Daphne and Shoebox retail stores. Daphne’s two lines of fashionable footwear, D18 and D28, speak directly to young women. In addition, the company has the retail rights to sell the “Adidas – Original Collection” within China.

5. DONGGUAN DONGYUE CAPARISON CO. LTD.
Store count: 2,284
This clothing brand provides casual, trendy fashion for young adults under its Yishion stores. In addition to its apparel for men and women, the brand features a line of versatile children’s wear. The company has been focused on aggressive global expansion. Yishion’s Web site states, “By expanding our retail network, our brand is generally recognized in certain cosmopolitan cities…this helps enhance our brand recognition and increase market share.”

INDIA:

1. BATA INDIA LTD.
Total estimated store count in India at the end of 2007: 1,530
Bata has continued strong financial performance thanks to its retail store expansion. The company stated in October, “Bata India Ltd. is on an aggressive growth path and has implemented forward-looking initiatives like investments in large format stores, trendy collections and keeping the stores open seven days a week. These initiatives have resulted in a healthy 15.7 percent sales increase in the retail stores.”

2. KOUTONS RETAIL INDIA LTD.
Store count: 1,150
Koutons Retail India operates Koutons and Charlie Outlaw stores in this region. Koutons stores offer a range of apparel for men, ages 22 to 45. Offerings include everything from formal to casual and partywear. And in 2006, the company relaunched its male-focused youth brand, Charlie Outlaw, by opening more than 100 exclusive brand outlets in northwestern India in just one day.

3. LIBERTY SHOES LTD.
Store count: 500
Liberty Shoes Ltd. is advancing in India through two store formats, Liberty Retail Revolutions and Footmart Retail India. Producing more than 50,000 pairs of shoes a day, the footwear and accessories brand has expanded into areas such as Mumbai and Delhi. In December, the company said it would open six to eight stores in the next three years, through a new subsidiary, Liberty Foot Fashion UAE.

4. ADITYA BIRLA NUVO LTD.
Store count: 457
Based in Mumbai, Aditya Birla Nuvo is a multinational corporation with retail operations under its Madura Garments division. One of the most prominent brands is Allen Solly, which “has actively contributed in redefining modern Indians’ wardrobe,” noted IndiaPRwire.com. The brand has been expanding its collection to include women’s wear. Other names under this company include Louis Phillippe and Peter England, among others.

5. THE RAYMOND GROUP
Store count: 420
The Raymond Group’s shops feature top-of-the-line brands for men’s wear, including The Raymond Shop, Manzoni, Park Avenue, ColourPlus and Parx. In addition to its locations in India, the retailer’s overseas network spans 27 stores in 15 cities across the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. “We have now extended our reach with a presence in some of the leading malls with new retail formats,” the company said on its Web site.

JAPAN:

1. SHIMAMURA CO. LTD.
Total estimated store count in Japan at the end of 2007: 1,186
Under the Shimamura umbrella, this Japan-based retailer primarily sells apparel in four different formats. They include: Fashion Center, focused on women between the ages of 25 and 45; Avail, featuring apparel and casual and dress shoes targeting ages 15 to 25; Birthday, which sells apparel and accessories for babies and children, and Chambre for women’s fashion goods.

2. FAST RETAILING CO. LTD.
Store count: 1,077
Fast Retailing’s chain of Uniqlo stores is probably the most recognizable name among the top five in Japan. Uniqlo is a Japanese-based retailer, but it is expanding globally. The retailer has more than 760 Uniqlo stores worldwide, including its global flagship in New York that opened in fall 2006. Additional retail chains in its portfolio include Cabin and Onezone, among others.

3. SANEI INTERNATIONAL CO.
Store count: 957
Osaka-based Sanei International Co. manufactures and sells women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories across Japan and internationally. The company offers products through owned and franchised specialty and outlet stores under the Sanei banner.

4. AOYAMA TRADING CO. LTD.
Store count: 800
This company includes Yofuku-no-Aoyama, which operates men’s apparel chain stores mainly throughout Japan, Taiwan and Shanghai. Men’s apparel consists of shorts, jackets, slacks, coats and casualwear. The company is also working to enhance its women’s suits line in order to expand its customer base.

5. SANYO SHOKAI LTD.
Store count: 520
Sanyo Shokai is one the largest apparel manufacturers in Japan. One of its primary businesses is operating a clothing-related segment under its Sanyo line of stores, which focuses primarily on outerwear. Everything from cashmere and wool dress overcoats to casual outerwear and rain gear can be found inside these stores.

source: Euromonitor international, A market-intelligence firm BASED IN LONDON; estimated Store counts for the year were tallied in the fall of 2007

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