Although based in New York, the high-end outerwear company Rainforest will make its first foray in independent retailing in China.
“We will open the two stores as a test, but we’re ready to expand very fast if they’re successful,” said company president Jack Wu. “I could see us opening as many as 100 stores… China is rapidly becoming a large and important market.”
Aiming to be a lifestyle brand, which is a popular concept in China, Rainforest will sell its traditional outerwear line, but will augment its usual merchandise with shirts and pants.
Rainforest already has already a 3,000-square-foot showroom in China. The company’s retail stores are slated to open in late September of this year, in time for China’s biggest shopping week – Oct. 1.
The stores, which will measure around 1,000 square feet each, will be located in Hangzhou and suburban Beijing.
The company looks forward to gains in China, where the fashion market is expected to triple in size over the next ten years to reach revenue figures of over $200 billion.
“Emerging markets such as China, India and Russia are where things are happening,” Wu said. “The consumer spending in these areas is growing much faster than it is here, and that will continue for some time. Therefore, Rainforest has decided to go to China for our first store.”
Rainforest will use the success of their stores in China as a guide for whether to open independent U.S. outlets. Currently, the brand is only sold on the company website or at department stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
photo credit: rainforest