Business / Companies

A touch of French class for the masses

By CHEN YINGQUN (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-16 08:35

A touch of French class for the masses

A woman shops at Cache-Cache's flagship store in Shanghai. [File photo/IC]

Beaumanoir says the name Cache-Cache was inspired when he saw a group of girls playing cache-cache, French for hide-and-seek, and was impressed by their young, vigorous spirit.

With the naming of the brand, he decided to offer fashionable and affordable ready-to-wear clothing, following trends that could be easily combined and accessorized to women aged from 18 to 30 worldwide.

Stephane Torck, CEO of Group Beaumanoir China, says: "When we opened in China in 2005, we took as our principle that we would do what we were doing in France and adapt our business model to the Chinese market of today and of tomorrow, and to adapt to change."

But the company soon found the cost of importing clothes from France prohibitive, and that Chinese physiques were a lot different to those of Europeans, so made many changes to its clothes, and finally decided to produce them locally.

"We also realized that although many international fashion shows are held in China and that some fashion principles are universal, because of the Asian influence, China's way of life and the way it has developed, it is not at the same stage of development as Europe in its fashion trends."

Themes that Cache-Cache aims to highlight in its clothing include enthusiasm, optimism and playfulness with colors. The company reckoned that Chinese women were more "feminine", or "girly", and set up a Chinese team to learn about Western elements and a French team aware of what was happening in Asia would produce designs combining Chinese and French styles.

In China, the company has about 4,000 store staff and 300 office staff. Its clothing is also sold online. It says that an Asia logistics center was set up in 2012 with 12,000 square meters of storage space, enough for 4 million items of clothing and allowing store stock to be replaced rapidly.

Its first stores in China tended to be near hypermarkets, such as Carrefour, but now they can be almost anywhere and in cities no matter what their size. More than half of its shops are run jointly with local retailers as franchises. The company hopes to have more than 1,000 shops in China by the end of this year.

A touch of French class for the masses

A touch of French class for the masses

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