Business news :Timberland Plots Aggressive Expansion in China

According to China Daily, Timberland plans to open 40 to 50 stores in China annually over the next five years while upgrading and expanding some of its existing stores. After launching in the Chinese mainland six years ago, Timberland now has 150 outlets and around 20 dealership partners.

"China has been Timberland's fastest growing market over the past three years, and we expect it to maintain that growth over the next five years," said Stewart Whitney, vice-president and managing director of Timberland Asia Pacific Region, told China Daily.

He said Timberland has generated "double-digit growth" in each of its years in the mainland.

"This is a dynamic market, and Timberland is making full preparation for a long-term commitment here," said Whitney. "In recent years, Chinese consumers are paying much more attention to outdoor lifestyle, and we only see that increasing in coming years."

According to the China Textile Commerce Association, China's outdoor apparel market has grown at an average annual rate of 47.33 percent over the past decade.
In 2011, total revenue in the sector reached 10.76 billion yuan ($1.7 billion), and the number of outdoor brands being sold in the country surged by 29 percent, to 717, year-on-year.

Columbia Sportswear, launched in the Chinese mainland market in 2004, is seen as the Chinese outdoor market leader, with 530 outlets in 135 Chinese cities, and sales of $123 million last year. Columbia recently formed a 60/40, 20-year joint venture with Swire Resources Ltd, a holding company with extensive retail and wholesale interests in sports and lifestyle footwear and apparel in the mainland and Hong Kong, to expand its sales as well as that of Columbia subsidiary, Mountain Hardwear.

( SportsOneSource Media )

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