American retailers operate in more foreign countries than their counterparts in other parts of the world, according to CBRE’s most recent report on the state of global retail. The Americas, however, tend to export their brands more than they import them. Conversely, Asian retailers are expanding at a rate of 1.4% annually, but the top five markets for international companies to enter are all in Asia.
This doesn’t mean Asian companies aren’t seeking new opportunities. Several are pushing beyond their borders.
Let’s look at five Asian companies expanding into Europe:
- Restaurant to open first European location: Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC), Asia’s largest restaurant chain, and its partner, Blackbird Holdings, are investing more than $1 million in JFC’s first European location; $80,380 of this investment is from Golden Plate, a JFC subsidiary. The first store will be located in Milan, Italy. JFC has 3,290 overseas locations. “JFC’s strategy is still to tap a territorial franchise for Italy with the capability to develop and expand the brand in the market,” the company said. “The JV partnership will facilitate the entry and the opening of the first store and create the desired awareness for the Jollibee brand in the market.” Source: Inquirer
- Korean fashion enters European department stores: Three Korean fashion labels are entering the European market, two in France and one in the UK. In France, handbag brand Louis Quartorze opened a shop in Galeries Lafayette, a luxury department store. Galeries Lafayette also is hosting Handsome Co., a unit of Hyundai Department Store Group, in menswear. In the UK, Juun. J., Samsung C&T Corp’s men’s apparel brand is operating a popup store in Harrods. A fourth company, Fila Korea, is entering the U.S. market. Source: Pulse
- Will Alipay compete against Apple Pay? Alipay, Alibaba’s payment service, has partnered with four European banks, expanding the service to 930,000 new merchants. Alipay is China’s largest financial service with 450 million users. Expansion into European will make it easier for Chinese tourists to pay for goods and services while abroad. The largest comparable service is Apple Pay. Ant Financial, which runs Alipay, says the service might expand to international customers in the future, and Europe is seen as an area of growth. If that were to happen, Alipay would be competing directly with Apple Pay and Google’s Andriod Pay. Source: CNBC
- Increasing productivity while expanding: Singapore jeweler Ishtara Jewellery invested $100,000 a year ago on computer software aimed at increasing productivity by controlling everything from inventory to customer management. The gamble paid off as employees have more time to devote to other tasks. The software investment came at the same time Ishtara was announcing its plans to expand into Europe and the Middle East. The company’s locations are airports and showrooms. The goal is to become a global business. Sources: Strait Times and Business Standard
Melina Druga is an author and freelance journalist. You can follow her on Twitter @MelinaDruga .