- Huw Hughes |
French fashion label IKKS has opened four brick-and-mortar stores in Shanghai and Beijing, as the brand expands their childrenswear lines to the Chinese market.
The ambitious move begins with their Junior line, which was released on 8 September, and comes after IKKS signed a joint-venture contract with with Fung Kids Limited, an associated company of the Hong Kong group Fung Retailing Limited.
Pierre-André Cauche, CEO of the IKKS Group, hopes that their new partnership will help them build a better relationship with the Chinese market: “Developing children’s clothing in China is a long-term project. We are certain that Chinese parents will appreciate the brand’s disruptive positioning which - it should be remembered - was the first label 30 years ago to have re-imagined kids fashion to copy the adult wardrobe.”
The IKKS Group, which already has 3,600 sales outlets in 45 countries, aims to open 50 “IKKS Paris” Junior stores in China by 2022, with a vision of moving into the neighbouring markets of Hong Kong and other parts of Asia.
French children's fashion for the Chinese market
The Group is also looking to move into neighbouring markets in Hong Kong and other regions of Asia.“We have been preparing our entrance in China for 18 months with an ambitious business plan, and that’s just the start!” said Mike Thumas, IKKS Group International Director in a statement.
Along with the opening of the stores, IKKS is also launching a “Bonjour Paris” night, which will see a display of typically French styles for children and a roll-out of digital pop-up stores. The campaign supporting it, called “Buy the Eiffel Tower,” will be displaying the products - as well as their QR codes - on LED screens throughout the country’s largest cities, and in flyers and magazines.
Valérie Dassier, the Assistant Managing Director of Digital Marketing for the IKKS Group, described the innovative approach of the campaign as “a concept that is both unique and powerful for a country that is as vast as China; the brand must innovate! We’re doing this by allowing our customers to discover and follow the French Lifestyle.” On top of this, the label is also organising a competition on Wechat - China’s leading social network - which will offer prizes of 8,000 of the brand’s children’s outfits and a family trip to Paris.
Innovative marketing for China’s digital landscape
The brand has also created an online presence, with their “IKKS French Academy” - a blog-type Wechat account dedicated to learning about French fashion and lifestyle. It even offers some typically French recipes by chef Thibaut Servas, kid recipes by French influencer Maïa from “Les Petits Béguins,” and wine tasting classes by chef sommelier Frédéric Turpaud.
Lastly, IKKS has created a campaign based around two young influencers, Léo and Léa (both 8-years-old), who will publish their Parisian escapades each week. Additionally, the pairs’ faces will be featured on new “speaking shopping bags.” The bags - which customers will receive after making a purchase - will have a QR code which will allow the customers to listen to the two French children's stories about becoming associates of the brand.
IKKS hopes that this expansion will lead the way for further growth throughout Asia in the future.Photo credit: Facebook, IKKS