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China 2016: CATEGORIES IN BRIEF | Apparel


 The value of the apparel category declined 46 percent, the steepest drop of any of the 23 categories tracked in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016. The decline followed a 37 percent drop a year ago.

While some apparel brands improved in brand value, most continued to experience the impact of competition from international brands, the cost of excess physical stores, and the rapid
rise of e-commerce. The three apparel brands that remain in the BrandZTM China top 100, compared with seven a year ago, are: Anta, Belle, and Youngor. BrandZTM includes general apparel, sports apparel and footwear in the apparel category definition.

Anta, a maker and marketer of sportswear, introduced running shoes with special technology and co-branded some of its o ering with the National Basketball Association. The brand also entered a new sport, soccer, in an important strategic move that coincides with the Chinese government’s intention to raise China’s presence in this popular international sport.

Anta improved its e-commerce presence at the same time that it opened larger stores and closed smaller ones. It operated 7,340 retail outlets at the end of June 2015. Especially strong in lower tier cities, Anta has also established its Fila brand, acquired in 2009, in China’s larger cities. Anta operates retail outlets in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Anta rose 45 percent in brand value.
The sports segment of the apparel category should benefit from the Chinese government’s determination to expand the contribution of sports to GDP, which is relatively low compared with other industrialized countries. New apps and the introduction of Tencent’s WeChat Sports also increased attention on fitness.

International competition and channel disruption particularly impacted the shoe brand Belle, as customer tra c declined at traditional department stores, where much of its merchandise is sold. Belle sportswear sales improved, however Belle declined 35 percent in brand value. Youngor, a major supplier of menswear, especially suits and shirts, in China and abroad, rose 11 percent in brand value, following a 26 percent decline a year ago.