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U.S. Polo Assn takes a swing at Asia

The economic recession in its homeland has led the U.S. Polo Assn brand to shift its focus to Asia, as it aims to double its business in this region within the next five years.

“We believe Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines will have tremendous growth over the next five years when the Asean Economic Community (AEC) takes effect in 2015,” said David Cummings, president and CEO of USPA Properties, a subsidiary of the United States Polo Association.

Moreover, average growth of Asean consumer spending and retail sales rose by 2.9% in the first half of this year.

The U.S. Polo Assn brand was introduced to the kingdom three years ago and it now has 40 points of sale across the country and two stand-alone shops at CentralWorld and Siam Paragon.

During the first half of this year, sales of U.S. Polo Assn here hit 120 million baht, higher than total sales last year.

He added the company wants to open at least 10 more stand-alone shops in Thailand over the next two years.

In addition to clothing, the company plans to distribute more products under its brand inside stores including watches, eyewear, wallets and perfume.

It expects the sales contribution from Asia will increase to 24% over the next five years, double its current level.

“We have big plans to expand in China, India and Southeast Asia. We will double our point of sales in India to 100 over the next three years,” said Mr Cummings.

Patcharawan Boonnamsup, executive director of Tom Tailor (Thailand) Co, the licensee for 10 Asean countries, said the company will start expanding U.S. Polo Assn in the Asean market seriously this year. Tom Tailor is working with Mr Cummings to find the right partners in Asean countries to distribute its products.

It has 20 counter sales spots for U.S. Polo Assn in Malaysia through an authorised distributing firm. There are 34 Polo trademarks available in the market, but U.S. Polo Assn. claims it is the only authentic brand with a 121-year history, Mr Cummings said.

Jim Scully, vice-president for licensing at U.S. Polo Assn, said sales for the company have grown 19-20% for four consecutive years after changing its business strategy to sell products through retail channels, replacing wholesale. Its sales will reach US$1 billion this year.

It has 235 outlets worldwide, which it plans to double over the next five years.

Source: Bangkok Post

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