International Sales News - As Seen on TV Products

International news, issues, and trends for innovative consumer products in the direct response television industry (DRTV), as well as tips for export management & international product sales. This blog focuses on the As Seen on TV product category.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Foreign Apparel Retailers Are Quickly Moving Into US Territory

Modestly priced apparel retailers from all over Europe, Asia, and Canada are increasingly setting their sites on US malls for new store locations. Between 1997 and 2007 the amount of foreign retailers' investment in clothing and accessory stores in the US rose more than 60% to reach an astounding $4.1 billion.

This is the result of a combination of the weakening dollar which in turn lowers the initial cost of investment for foreign retailers to set up shop, and the increased ease of obtaining attractive store leases. As numerous large US retail apparel chains are closing many of their lower performing stores, mall vacancies have risen to 6.3% in the second quarter, the highest it has been since 2002. Now, in an effort to attract and excite new customers, US mall developers are offering the best deals and lease terms to international retailers who are becoming the "hot" retailers American companies used to be.

Some of the retailers moving in are Sweden's H & M which refers to the US as it's largest expansion market, with 156 US locations already and plans to open 27 more this year, and South Korea's Who AU plans to open 450 stores over the next 10 years. The list of foreign retailers looking to the US for international expansion is quite long; there aren't many large retail apparel companies that are not considering the US which despite low growth is still the largest consumer market in the world.

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