Jun 21, 2022
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John Smedley targets Chinese growth with digital initiatives

Jun 21, 2022

Heritage knitwear label John Smedley is making a major push into China and is currently launching a suite of digital activities for consumers on the mainland, “to drive the brand forward in the world’s largest market”.

John Smedley

This month, it has launched  an e-commerce mini program shop on WeChat, a major move given that it’s China’s number one app. It has also launched exclusive product news and style tips through its official accounts on WeChat, Little Red Book and Weibo.

“We are hugely excited to be launching the John Smedley brand in mainland China on key digital channels, to reach such a huge potential audience,” said deputy MD Jess Mcguire. “Based on the success we have seen in Japan; we believe China will be a key market for John Smedley going forward.

The British brand was founded 238 years ago and has a strong position in Europe, North America, the Gulf, Singapore and Japan (its single biggest export market).

The label — which holds two Royal warrants — began to focus on international growth back in the 1960s when celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery were photographed in its products. Back then, China being a potential luxury market seemed unlikely.

But it’s the a key target for any company in the luxury segment now and it's the company’s big focus for 2022.

Still based in its old “mill” buildings in the small village of Lea, near Matlock in Derbyshire where all its garments are manufactured and hand-finished, the company said that the “brand is going from strength to strength” at present.

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