Monday, March 16, 2009
Online fashion store opens in asia first
New fashion store opens in asia .May be its great opportunity for all asian"s people.
ASIA’S first on-line multibrand fashion and lifestyle retail outlet begins business this month, and it’s based in the Philippines.
A venture of 27-year-old Bianca Cristina Zobel, www.im-hm.com carries internationally known and under-the-radar labels – including some Filipino designers – for apparel, accessories and other lifestyle products.
IM-HM.com (or “I Am High Maintenance”) aims to sell to countries like Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
“The potential of an online shopping business in Asia is huge,” Zobel says in an e-mail interview. She is president of Intelligent Movement, the company behind the project.
“Reports show there is a slight deceleration in the growth rate of yearly Internet sales in the US and Europe. Growth, however, is poised to accelerate in the Asia Pacific region. E-commerce sales in countries like Japan, China and Korea are booming and other countries in the region are following suit. Where fashion and retail are concerned, Asian countries account for around 10 percent of worldwide online sales, and these three countries are consistently in the top five countries that shop for fashion online.”
“Women are not about to give up on being fashionable and stylish just yet,” Zobel notes. “While before, some women would go for the most expensive items, they now show a marked tendency toward thinking twice, or will check other retailers for better prices...Women have always used fashion as a feel-good way of expressing themselves, and no credit crunch is going to change that.”
What she foresees to be a challenge is establishing a secure and efficient online structure that would earn Asian consumers’ trust. In Asia, she says, “immature online payment systems, poor delivery networks and distrust between buyers and sellers” have been hampering the growth of e-commerce.
Targeting the age 21-and-up market, IM-HM.com’s initial list of brands is dominated by Australian names, some of which Zobel discovered at last year’s Australian Fashion Week: Sass & Bide, Ksubi [formerly known as Tsubi], Azzollini, Kirrily Johnston, Madame Marie, Skin and Threads, Nevenka, Mor Cosmetics.
The Sydney-based Filipino-Australian designer Leonardo Salinas also headlines the offerings, alongside brands such as Junk Food, Joe’s Jeans, Melissa Odabash and the high-end Ego Laptops. Price points average $250-$500, with delivery charges from $5-$20. IM-HM.com has exclusive Asian distribution rights to some of these brands.