(Yicai Global) July 20 – One of China's leading casualwear companies Metersbonwe Fashion & Accessories Co. [SHE:002269] will upgrade its five main brands from a single casual style to five independent ones.
These styles will include leisure, trend, street style, minimalist and pure and plain style, with endorsements from five famous teen idols.
The first Metersbonwe franchised store opened in 1995 and the company has adopted a self-owned store and franchise business model. It was once seen as China's most iconic apparel brand.
Metersbonwe suffered its first loss in 2015 due to the impact of e-commerce and the market entry of strong competitors like Inditex's [IGBM: ITX] ZARA, H&M [STO: HMB], Fast Retailing Co.'s [TYO: 9983] Uniqlo and other fast fashion brands. The brand's net profit attributable to shareholders after deduction of non-recurring profit and loss was minus CNY445 million (minus USD65 million) in 2015 and minus CNY518 million (minus USD76 million) in 2016.
"Metersbonwe will continue to adjust its channel layout, gradually shifting to shopping centers and malls as well as other emerging retail channels not only situated in first- and second-tier cities, but also in third- to fifth-tier cities," Metersbonwe's founder Zhou Chengjian said.
Metersbonwe has traditionally focused on main street shops, and failed to identify changes in consumer trends, especially the growing interest in shopping malls.