British luxury clothier, Skopes, plans a major push into the Chinese luxury market by exporting a lot more of its expensive suits to China.
Skopes already sells suits with 24 carat gold and platinum woven into the pinstripe to Chinese businessmen for £10,000. It wants to double the business in the next three years by increasing its exports to 40 percent from 10 percent.
The company with a client roster that include Harrods, Jaeger, and High and Mighty prides itself on being innovative. To appeal to wealthy Chinese businessmen, it will create new luxurious fabrics, including material woven with ground precious gem.
“The opportunities in China are mind blowingly huge. The number of millionaires and billionaires is breathtaking. If you’ve got a brand in the UK and you can show you have foundations, the Chinese will love you. They want to buy into western brands but they have got to know there is a foundation there,” said Simon Cope, managing director and chairman of Skopes.
Skopes’ initial China strategy is to sell suits to Beijing tailors, but it is also looking into the possibility of opening retail outlets.
Since the brand is not well-known in China, Skopes plans to invest heavily in brand education.
“A big part of what we’re doing is about education, talking to businesses about the history of the company. We have also taught them how to educate their own customers on the history of wool because a lot of people have lost the ability to explain what textiles is all about,” according to Malcolm Campbell, manager of Skopes’ China business.
Campbell believes the history of the garment is almost as important as the garment itself to wealthy Chinese customers. “The Chinese will give gifts of suits at £10,000 and they love stories. If there’s a story there the gift is so much better,” said Campbell.
Skopes sells suits, jackets, trousers, shirts, coats and accessories for men as well as corporate women’s wear through its retail, corporate, and wholesale divisions.
photo credit: skopes