Fri, Dec 27, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Tony Wear shifts online to raise brand awareness

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Tainan Enterprise (Cayman) Co (台南企業開曼), which sells apparel under brandnames such as Tony Wear and Emely, has set up a virtual shop on Yahoo to introduce its products in Taiwan.

The company already sells Tony Jeans on the Chinese e-commerce site Tmall.com (天貓), and plans to launch the Tony Wear sub-brand on Amazon.com and two other Chinese e-commerce sites — JD.com (京東) and www.feiniu.com (飛牛網) — this month, Tony Wear (Shanghai) Fashion Co (湯尼威爾上海) general manager Karen Wang (王子云) said on Wednesday.

“The Tony Jeans brand targets younger men. We believe young people shop online more often, which is why we brought the brand online first,” Wang said.

Wang said Tainan Enterprise (Cayman) plans to expand its online business by selling Tony Wear on all these e-commerce sites in the first half of next year. The company also plans to launch a German brand, Camel Active, on these sites in the second half of next year after it receives approval from its German partner, Wang said.

Tony Wear and Camel Active target male customers between 35 years old and 45 years old, she said.

Within three to five years, the company hopes one of its three male brands will be among the top three male clothing brands in Taiwan, she said.

Tainan Enterprise (Cayman), a 53.54 percent holding of garment manufacturer Tainan Enterprise Co (台南企業), aims to swing into the black next year by increasing its online shops while shutting down unprofitable physical stores.

The company has set a target of increasing sales from online shops to 30 percent of its revenue this year from 10 percent last year, while reducing the number of physical shops in both Taiwan and China to 536 this year from 730 last year, according to the company.

“The cost of opening a shop in China has become more and more expensive,” Tainan Enterprise president and chief executive officer Cathy Yang (楊富琴) said.

Yang said the company would keep the number of its shops at about 500 this year to maintain its brand exposure.

However, by going online, the company can improve its logistics, which was a weak point in the past, Yang said.

From January through last month, Tainan Enterprise (Cayman) reported a revenue of NT$1.88 billion (US$62.67 million), down 23.85 percent from NT$2.46 billion a year ago, partly because of the Chinese government’s policy of discouraging spending on luxury products.

Yang expects revenue next year to remain flat from this year.

During the January-to-September period, the company registered a loss of NT$502.59 million, compared with a loss of NT$308.74 million a year ago.

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