Hugo Boss Plays Catch-Up In Asia
German luxury clothing maker Hugo Boss began selling its apparel in China through franchisees or by wholesaling goods to independent retailers in Hong Kong as early as 1982, but it didn’t open its first company-run stores in China until 2006, 15 years after Italian suit maker Ermenegildo Zegna.
The company has paid a price for the slow start, and for emphasizing opening stores in lots of cities rather than concentrating on the most affluent metropolises. Although Hugo Boss now has about 90 of its own stores in Greater China (which includes Macau and Hong Kong) and 30% of all its shops in Asia, the region made up a mere 15% of the clothier’s €2 billion ($2.67 billion) revenue last year. By contrast, Burberry Group Asia sales almost equaled European revenue last year, at 32.6%.