Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Makalot looks at online sales of casual wear

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Makalot Industrial Co (聚陽), a supplier of global fashion brands such as H&M, yesterday said it planned to launch its own brand of clothing, “Fisso,” in March to boost revenue and compete with casual-wear retailers like Japan’s Uniqlo Co.

“After the global financial crisis struck in 2008, our annual revenue growth slowed from 20 percent to 10 percent at best. We want to tap into a different business to generate more revenue,” Makalot public relations manager Mavis Chiu (邱美惠) said by telephone.

Targeting young consumers aged 16 to 35, Fisso will focus on casual and comfortable clothes that are affordable, such as summer T-shirts that sell for NT$300 to NT$500 per item, Chiu said.

Based on the company’s plan, Fisso is evidently targeting a similar consumer group as that of Uniqlo and local clothing company Lativ Co (米格國際), which was established in 2007 and sells its products online.

Following Lativ’s business model, Makalot says it also plans to sell Fisso clothes online and does not plan to open any brick-and-mortar shops, Chiu said.

Chiu added that Fisso will not compete with the company’s clients because it will be sold in Taiwan only, even though some of its major customers also sell to Taiwan.

Last year, Makalot posted a pretax profit of NT$1.42 billion, up 3.21 percent from NT$1.38 billion a year ago.

“Our sales volume has grown steadily, thanks to increasing demand from our clients in Taiwan, Japan, Europe and the US. However, we are facing growing pressure to cut prices since the second half of last year as the price of a key raw material — cotton — has dropped,” Chiu said.

Chiu said she expected the company’s shipments to grow this year from last year.

Makalot’s factories are already running at full capacity, and customers have to wait for capacity to free up, possibly in April or May, Chiu said.

Makalot’s share price fell 1.02 percent to NT$97 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which slid 0.62 percent.

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