Western Winter Wear Brands Flock to China Amid Olympic Craze
Ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, several Western clothing brands are tapping into one of the world’s largest consumer markets, as more and more people explore winter sports for the first time.
Norwegian winter apparel brand Helly Hansen, Swedish ski brand Peak Performance, and German luxury ski wear company Bogner are some of the big names that entered the Chinese market this year with support from their Chinese partners. While Chinese clothing company Youngor Group is a stakeholder in Helly Hansen, domestic sporting merchandise giant Anta acquired Peak Performance in 2019, and Bogner announced a joint venture with Chinese apparel group Bosideng this month.
On Xiaohongshu, a lifestyle platform popular among China’s millennials and Gen Zs, searches for skiing and snowboarding increased by 214% in November compared with the same period last year, according to the company.
“With the holding of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, it is estimated that 300 million more people will participate in winter sports, and the winter sportswear market has a lot of space to grow,” Lv Ming, an analyst at Kaiyuan Securities, wrote in a recent report.
The Beijing Winter Olympics, which will be held from Feb. 4 to 20 amid strict coronavirus-related restrictions, has been a key milestone for the government and companies to lay out a blueprint for developing everything ski resorts, apparel, and equipment. According to the central government’s 10-year development plan published after winning the bid for the Winter Games in 2015, China’s ice and snow industry is forecast to be worth 1 trillion yuan ($157 billion) by 2025.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: Models perform at Helly Hansen’s pop-up store at a shopping mall in Beijing, November 2021. From @AYKES on Weibo)