ITALY: Max Mara To Step Up Operations In China

Max Mara, the popular Italian womenswear brand, will focus on business in China, where the company sees strong growth potential, with sales increasing by 25 per cent in 2001, and by approx. 40 per cent for this year's summer and autumn season.

The Reggio Emilia-based company entered the Chinese market in the mid-nineties and today operates in joint venture with Hong Kong-based Fairton International Group Ltd., which distributes Max Mara products to retailers in five cities, including Canton, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Dalian and Shengyang.

Max Mara also trades from franchise stores in Beijing, Xian and Chengdu in cooperation with another local partner. The company will open another two Max Mara locations in Xiamen and Harbin by September and a Max&Co. store in Beijing in summer. Wholesale sales presently amount to approx. EUR 11m, but are expected to increase considerably in the near future.

"We've made incredible progress over the last two and a half years, when the country edged closer and closer to the opening signalled by plans to hand Hong Kong back to China, and China's entry into the WTO," Max Mara's international sales director Luca Donnini said. The company, which is owned by the Maramotti family and was founded in 1951, hit sales of EUR 1bn last year and for 2002 forecasts growth of 8 to 9 per cent.

May 28, 2002

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Added: May 28, 2002
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