Lo­cal brands to set snow-cloth­ing world on fire

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS | FOCUS - By JING SHUIYU

Li Xuan, 25, an en­thu­si­as­tic snow­boarder, couldn’t wait to buy a snow jacket in Novem­ber, just be­fore the first snow in Beijing.

It was some­thing spe­cial, the first Chi­nese brand snow jacket she had ever bought. Prior to that, she pur­chased all of her snow-sport cloth­ing and equip­ment over­seas, when she stud­ied abroad.

“It looks cool, un­like the old fash­ioned style. And the price is rea­son­able,” said Li, who started snow­board­ing three years ago.

To meet de­mand from young skiers like Li, some Chi­nese win­ter sports­wear com­pa­nies are rapidly shift­ing to­ward fash­ion­ably de­signed and high-qual­ity prod­ucts.

Ya Chao, CEO of Mi­nus Two De­grees Cul­ture Co, a Beijing-based win­ter sports­wear com­pany, said: “More and more Chi­nese are show­ing in­ter­est in ski­ing. A lot of young skiers, in­flu­enced by street fash­ion, want to stand out.”

That’s why, the com­pany de­signs the cloth­ing es­pe­cially for snow­board­ing life­styles, Ya said. For ex­am­ple, some are hood­ies with sketches and doo­dles, an ob­vi­ous nod to street rather than tra­di­tional piste wear.

Ya said the other strate­gic fo­cus of the com­pany is re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

The com­pany’s rev­enue was more than 3 mil­lion yuan ($430,000) dur­ing the win­ter sea­son in 2015, and is pro­jected to ex­ceed 5 mil­lion yuan in the com­ing win­ter, according to Ya.

In­dus­try data show that the num­ber of Chi­nese skiers in­creased steadily in the last few win­ter sea­sons. Ski vis­its reached 12.5 mil­lion in 2015, up 21.36 per­cent over the pre­vi­ous year, according to a white pa­per on ski­ing in­dus­try pub­lished ear­lier this year.

It seems that China will soon rank among the big play­ers of the in­dus­try, in­de­pen­dent con­sul­tant Lau­rent Vanat, a sec­tor spe­cial­ist, wrote in the 2016 In­terna-

Cur­rent poli­cies cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for Chi­nese win­ter sports­wear com­pa­nies ...” Liu Ning, gen­eral man­ager of Beijing Fu Yi Ning Trad­ing Co ex­pected num­ber of ski vis­its in China by 2022, according to an in­dus­try re­port

mil­lion yuan

rev­enue of Mi­nus Two De­grees Cul­ture Co, a Beijing-based win­ter sports­wear firm, in 2015

tional Re­port on Snow & Moun­tain Tourism.

Vanat wrote that there could be 40 mil­lion ski vis­its by 2022, as the gov­ern­ment re­cently pro­posed a plan that it would en­cour­age 300 mil­lion Chi­nese to par­tic­i­pate in win­ter sports.

Beijing Fu Yi Ning Trad­ing Co, an out­door cloth­ing com­pany, said it has also been build­ing its own brand.

“Cur­rent poli­cies and plans cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for Chi­nese win­ter sports­wear com­pa­nies to grow, es­pe­cially at the time when for­eign brands are trans­fer­ring their fac­to­ries out of China to cheaper places,” said its com­pany gen­eral man­ager Liu Ning.

“But it will take some time for sports­wear man­u­fac­tur­ers, the down­stream part of the value chain, to ben­e­fit from the fa­vor­able poli­cies.”

Liu said his com­pany tai­lored prod­ucts for dif­fer­ent mar­ket seg­ments. Jack­ets and pants for snow­board­ing tend to be more fash­ion­ably de­signed, while those for ski­ing are more fit­ted and close to the body.

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