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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Global Brands and Alibaba Strengthen China

It has recently been reported that Global Brands Group Holding Ltd. is in possible talks with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. for a possible strategic alliance as the company plans to tap the rising online demand in China.

Is this an example of China creating important building blocks to dominate the international fashion market? 

Global Brands Group (Li & Fung) has been obtaining a substantial list of international fashion brands.  At the same time, Alibaba has been developing an international network & method for selling product.  Put two and two together, and we see potential international domination.  If you combine Fung Group and Alibaba, you can see unrivaled resources.

In addition to having a clever and well executed business strategy, these two Hong Kong/China companies also benefit by gaining financial benefit from the USA stock market (did you see the size of the Alibaba IPO?).  I would be curious to know how many USA pension plans are invested in these Hong Kong / Chinese growth companies.  It is interesting to see how the USA is inadvertently (or overtly) supporting China’s growth on the world stage.

Back to the Potential Strategic Alliance:

Chief Executive Officer of Global Brands Group, Bruce Rockowitz said in an interview this past Wednesday that, a deal could involve online sales of brand-name children’s wear, among other products, through Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com, as well as other co-operations offline,.  The executive team hopes to make an announcement of a deal within this year.

“We are working with JD and Alibaba on a strategic alliance, joint venture,” Rockowitz said. “It’s a relationship or joint venture together that can create a solution online, offline and mobile that none of us can do by ourselves.”

Alibaba confirmed that they have had discussions with Global Brands for a “potential partnership in bringing authentic and premium international goods offered to Chinese consumers,” according to the company’s e-mailed statement (indicated in a Bloomberg news article from earlier this week).  Bloomberg went on to indicated that JD.com declined to comment on Rockowitz’s remarks, saying the company is in ongoing talks regularly with many brands.

Li & Fung & Alibaba Forming Partnership with USA Retailer:

By the way, have you heard about Macy’s forming a partnership with Fung Retailing Limited a sister company of Global Brands Group.  This Macy’s arrangement is relevant to both Global Brands Group and to Alibaba.  Privately-held Fung Retailing Limited is totally separate from the publicly-listed company Li & Fung Limited.  However, it is our understanding that they have a corporate relationship.  It appears to be a complicated business structure, they do appear to be related.

Learn more about Global Brands Group on the Li & Fung page on Apparel Search.

Apparel Search has complete respect for the Fung Group and Alibaba.  It appears to us that both companies are extremely clever and work well toward long term goals.  Being that we are a USA company, we are a bit jealous and a bit concerned that China is buying up USA developed brands.  We are simply curious how this will all play out over the next few decades.  Our hope is that Hong Kong & China does well, but at the same time we hope it does not come at the expense of the USA fashion industry.  Hopefully we can all prosper and stay competitive in the market.  If China controls the brands, the manufacturing, and the online retailing, what is left for the USA.

Thank you for taking the time to read our fashion blog post. We hope that you have found this news to be informative. If you have comments or questions, please add your thoughts in the discussion area below.

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