BRISBANE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--bebe stores, inc. (Nasdaq:BEBE) today announced that it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Longgoal LLC, a leading Shanghai-based agency of international high-end brands. The agreement includes a five-year exclusive license to open between 60 and 150 retail and wholesale bebe points of distribution in Greater China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The first boutique is expected to open in the summer of 2016.
“As we continue to expand our international footprint, our entrance into Greater China is a significant opportunity to accelerate that growth and reinforce bebe as a global lifestyle brand for women. We look forward to working closely with the Longgoal team, who have a proven track record of success and operational experience in introducing high profile retail brands to this key market,” said Jim Wiggett, Chief Executive Officer of bebe stores, inc.
As a part of the agreement, Longgoal will open a minimum of 60 points of sale in Mainland China, including free standing boutiques and bebe shop-in-shops and identify third party retailers in certain provinces of China to sublicense the brand for retail operations. Longgoal is currently identifying potential locations in Shanghai and Beijing, including flagship boutiques. After the five-year exclusive term, Longgoal retains an option for an additional 10 year partnership with bebe based on performance.
“bebe is truly an iconic affordable luxury brand and one that we are honored to have the opportunity to introduce to women across Greater China in a variety of ways. As style and design are among the top priorities for sophisticated woman in China, we are confident that bebe’s bold design and contemporary fashion will appeal to the ever-changing lifestyle of the confident and sexy modern Chinese woman,” said Madam Celine Chen, Chairwoman of Longgoal LLC. “With our local market expertise and bebe’s creative vision, we’re confident that we will build excitement for bebe’s trendy feminine designs and create demand for the brand across China.”
bebe plans to locally design and develop up to 30 percent of the product for China to create trendy fashion styles to reflect the local fashion and suit the bebe woman’s lifestyle in China. In addition, the Company anticipates expanding further into licensing agreements for handbags, shoes and intimates in the initial partnership phase.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Madam Chen and the Longgoal team, whom we believe are a perfect partner to bring bebe’s unique and attainable design styles to women across the region,” said Liyuan Woo, Chief Financial Officer of bebe stores, inc. “The bebe brand has resonated well in key international markets as women continue to look for a distinctive ageless and head turning style which suits their lifestyle needs, and we look forward to doing the same in Greater China over the coming years.”
bebe complements Longgoal’s current portfolio of retail brands, including GANT, the original American Sportswear brand launched in China nearly a decade ago, and Thomas Pink, the luxury British shirt brand under the LVMH Group.
About bebe stores, inc:
bebe stores, inc. is a global specialty retailer, which designs, develops and produces a distinctive line of contemporary women’s apparel and accessories under the bebe and BEBE SPORT brand names. bebe currently operates 164 bebe retail stores, the on-line store, bebe.com, and 36 bebe outlet stores. These stores are located in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. bebe also distributes and sells bebe branded product in approximately 100 doors through its licensees in 20 plus countries.
About Longgoal LLC:
Founded in 1996 with headquarters in Shanghai, Longgoal was developed from a regional retail agency into an exclusive retail and wholesale distribution partner of numerous international high-end brands. Owned by Celine Chen, Longgoal currently operates 130 points of sale for GANT in China and recently signed a franchise agreement with Thomas Pink, an LVMH company, for the China region.