SMCP forms joint venture with Hong Kong partner
Hong Kong was how SMCP first got its foot in the door in Asia in late 2011. Two and a half years later, its relationship with its independent local partner there has just turned a corner. The group has created a joint venture with Ariane Zagury, founder of distributor Rue Madame Fashion Group, in which it is majority shareholder at 60%.
Ariane Zagury also operates her own multibrand chain, Rue Madame, and is the Hong Kong distributor for American Vintage. For SMCP, she first opened Maje and Sandro stores as corners. Next came Claudie Pierlot followed by the opening of six brand retail stores in Hong Kong's most popular shopping centers (IFC, Lee Garden and Times Square).
The group's goal is now to grow as much as possible with direct-owned stores, like in the United States and mainland China where it operates through subsidiaries. This joint venture in which SMCP is majority shareholder illustrates the company's intentions, further strengthened by an influx of capital from KKR in spring 2013. The U.S. investment firm strongly advocates expanding the trio of French brands on an international level.
By late 2013, Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot had opened more than 700 points of sale (stores and corners) and reportedly earned 420 million euros in revenues, with nearly 40% coming from outside of France.
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