US-based global specialty retailer of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories – bebe stores, inc. has announced that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Longgoal LLC, a leading Shanghai-based agency of international high-end brands.
In a press statement, it said the agreement includes a five-year exclusive license to open between 60 and 150 retail and wholesale bebe points of distribution in Greater China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The first boutique is expected to open in the summer of 2016.
“As we continue to expand our international footprint, our entrance into Greater China is a significant opportunity to accelerate that growth and reinforce bebe as a global lifestyle brand for women. We look forward to working closely with the Longgoal team, who have a proven track record of success and operational experience in introducing high profile retail brands to this key market,” said Jim Wiggett, CEO of bebe stores, inc.
As a part of the agreement, Longgoal will open a minimum of 60 points of sale in Mainland China, including free standing boutiques and bebe shop-in-shops and identify third party retailers in certain provinces of China to sublicense the brand for retail operations. Longgoal is currently identifying potential locations in Shanghai and Beijing, including flagship boutiques. After the five-year exclusive term, Longgoal retains an option for an additional 10 year partnership with bebe based on performance.
“bebe is truly an iconic affordable luxury brand and one that we are honored to have the opportunity to introduce to women across Greater China in a variety of ways. As style and design are among the top priorities for sophisticated woman in China, we are confident that bebe’s bold design and contemporary fashion will appeal to the ever-changing lifestyle of the confident and sexy modern Chinese woman,” said Madam Celine Chen, Chairwoman of Longgoal LLC.
bebe plans to locally design and develop up to 30 per cent of the product for China to create trendy fashion styles to reflect the local fashion and suit the bebe woman’s lifestyle in China. In addition, the company anticipates expanding further into licensing agreements for handbags, shoes and intimates in the initial partnership phase.
bebe complements Longgoal’s current portfolio of retail brands, including GANT, the original American Sportswear brand launched in China nearly a decade ago, and Thomas Pink, the luxury British shirt brand under the LVMH Group. (SH)