UK-based Kangol Ltd, a chain of hat and headwear shops, is to open 55 branded retail stores under franchise license in China by 2008.
The licence will be operated by Mainland Headwear Holdings Ltd, a successful headwear manufacturing company that already holds a ten-year exclusive retail licence with US retailer Hat World Corporation, and has recently signed a seven-year exclusive licence to operate Sanrio stores in China, whose brands include the famous ‘Hello Kitty’.
Mainland launched Hat World Corporation’s fascia, 'Lids' in Hong Kong and the PRC in 2004 and plan to open more than 200 Lids stores in the first three years.
Kangol headwear is currently a successful component of the Lids concept, which has allowed Mainland to see the potential of Kangol stand-alone stores.
The first store is set to open in March 2006 in Shanghai and will feature Kangol headwear, apparel, footwear, bags and eyewear.
16 stores are planned by spring 2007 and 37 stores by spring 2008, with a total portfolio of 54 stores by November 2010.
To crown its Kangol retail portfolio, Mainland may also open a Kangol flagship store in Hong Kong.
The retail concept will emulate the blueprint already established by Kangol in its existing stores, which operate under licence in the US and Japan.