Belle boosts Mainland store network

Apparel and footwear retailer Belle International Holdings says it has opened a net 278 new retail points of sale in Mainland China during the 12 months to November 30.

The company has reported that as at November 30, it operated 20,506 retail outlets in the Mainland, comprising 13,710 footwear outlets and 6796 sportswear and apparel outlets. All those stores were directly managed by Belle and its subsidiaries.

Belle owns and retails Teenmix, Tata, Staccato, Senda, Basto, Joy & Peace, Millie’s, Skap, 15Mins, Jipi Japa and Mirabell and distributes brands including Bata, Clarks, Hush Puppies, Mephisto, Merrell and Caterpillar in Greater China.

Those store numbers exclude shops in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. At last reported count, the group operated 158 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.

Belle’s Mainland China sales performance for the third quarter was far less spectacular: the footwear business recorded a same store sales decline of 10.4 per cent, while the sportswear and apparel business posted same store sales growth of six per cent.

Earlier this year Belle closed the last of its Belle shoes stores in Hong Kong, signalling the exit of the brand from standalone stores in the local market. The last store closed in Tseung Wan O, in the New Territories, ending a six month staged exit of the brand, which was previously located in Tsuen Wan Plaza, Tsim Sha Tsui, Langham Place mall in Mongkok and Kwai Fong. Those stores were converted to another of Belle International’s banners, Millie’s.

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