In this edition of “Industry Insight” — we
talk about fast-fashion brands. Despite tight competition, local “fast-fashion”,
or S.P.A. brands… fight on to rival their successful foreign counterparts in Korea…
as they also try to expand globally. Connie Lee has more. They are the so-called “fast-fashion” brands,
or S.P.A. brands, easily seen in Seoul’s busy shopping districts.
Over the past couple of years in Korea, there’s been a growing demand for these… SPA brands–
with both foreign and domestic firms flooding the streets, here in Korea. “I like these kinds of brands because their
prices are reasonable, and they have styles that are liked by most people.” SPA, short for “specialty retailer of private
label apparel”… had a market worth of about 500-billion won in the Korean market, back
in 2008,… but has since grown to about 3-trillion won… or about 2-point-8 billion U.S. dollars
in 2013. “The SPA brands in Korea are changing the
paradigm of the fashion industry in Korea. Before we saw brands more focused on their
brand image– but now it’s about the retail store’s image and how to meet the exact demands
of its customers.” SPA brands do it all –from design to manufacturing
and retailing — thus, prices are lower and new items can be produced at a faster rate. “For many of these SPA brand retail stores,
there are new items that hit the racks almost weekly. And at this store, new products are
apparently delivered every day.” Currently, the three biggest SPA brands in
Korea are not homemade….. They’re Japan’s Uniqlo,… one of the first SPA brands to
enter Korea in 2005,… Spain’s Zara and Sweden’s H&M.
The local brands, which are latecomers to the SPA world, however, are not afraid to
join in on the competition. Retail conglomerate, E-Land Group, which introduced
Korea’s first SPA brand called Spao in 2009,… currently has more than 10 such brands under
its belt. Their aim is global expansion — first, by
conquering Asia. [ ]
“We found success with our first stores abroad in China and Japan.
So we now plan to increase the number of our SPA brand stores in China to 50 next year.
/ We have an edge over our foreign competitors because we design and produce according to
the specific tastes of our Asian consumers.” And back in Korea, the already diluted market
of SPA brands is still vied by newcomers from abroad.
Canadian label Joe Fresh was recently introduced,… and the UK’s popular TopShop are apparently
eyeing the market. “Global companies could see Korea as a test-market…
as Korean consumers are now recognized as trendsetters and fast-adapters.” Connie Lee, Arirang News.