The “fabulously British” clothing company, Jack Wills, will make its Asia debut with the opening of two stores in Hong Kong.
The company will open its 6,000-square-foot flagship at Leighton Centre in Causeway Bay and a 1,425-square-foot store in Kowloon’s Harbour City mall on December 1. These shopping areas are strategic because they are favorites of mainland Chinese tourists.
Mark Parker, the company’s president of Asia and the Middle East, said: “Harbour City has a high percentage of mainland customers. It’s a very, very large window into China, and greater China is a very important market long-term. In Causeway Bay…there’s a large number of [mainland Chinese] customers, local consumers and international travelers.” The brand has seen a rise in Asian shoppers in its UK stores.
Jack Wills’ signature pink and blue striped banner is evident at the Leighton Centre store, covering several stories of the building’s exterior. Inside, a hand-painted Union Jack flag covers the floor on the upper level. The British heritage theme continues downstairs with a pink and blue striped Land Rover, taxidermy, memorabilia, British Chesterfield sofas and leather armchairs.
Calling itself “university outfitters,” Jack Wills creates collegiate-inspired clothing which is popular in the US and UK markets. Asian customers are less familiar with the collegiate scene, but they like traditional British style, according to Jack Wills co-founder Rob Shaw.
The label has no immediate plans to open more stores in Asia. Founded 12 years ago, the company has 74 stores in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the US, which it entered last year.
Apparel sales in Hong Kong rose 30 percent to 33 billion Hong Kong dollars or $4.24 billion in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the city’s census and statistics department. This increase was largely driven by mainland Chinese consumers.
Abercrombie & Fitch, another retailer of collegiate-inspired apparel, plans to open next year.
photo credit: jack & wills