Collaring the apparel market

Updated: 2011-05-23 09:14

By Li Woke (China Daily)

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BEIJING - "Our sales volume has maintained two-digit growth over the past 10 years," said Dee Poon, sitting cross-legged on a store couch.

The 28-year-old is managing director of PYE, a retail brand of one of the world's largest shirt manufacturing companies.

Dee Poon's father, Dickson Poon, is the owner of Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong Seibu and Dickson Watch and Jewellery. He is also the Hong Kong distributor of Ralph Lauren and Brook Brothers. Her mother is chairwoman of the Esquel Group, one of the world's largest shirt manufacturing companies.

Dee, dressed in a simple black loose shirt and a pair of blue jeans and carrying a Balenciaga motorcycle bag, said she was very confident in PYE's development after "sales jumped 65 percent in March compared with the same time last year".

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Her mother said that Dee brought lots of new ideas and made big demands on the company in her 18 months with PYE. Dee said she wanted the brand to be more "modern" instead of fashionable.

The interior design of the PYE store in the China World Trade Center Tower Three in Beijing echoes a modern, feminine touch with light-colored wood in the women's section. The men's area is designed to resemble a library.

PYE shirts cost about 1,000 yuan ($153) each. The Hong Kong-based company has three stores in Beijing, and will open a new one later this year in a prime location in Guangzhou.

"The whole fashion industry in China has made progress over the years. Nearly all aspects - from the quality of clothes to the design concepts and the arrangement inside clothing stores - have improved a great deal," said Gao Dekang, deputy director of the China Fashion Association.

PYE's domestic competitor, Youngor Group in East China's Zhejiang province, has developed into a company with 18.2 billion yuan of net assets. "Entering the 21st century, more and more international brands are involved in the Chinese market," says the Conch company on its website. "This makes the competitiveness of the Chinese shirt industry more fierce.


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