After two years, Belgian clothing chain JBC has halted its collaboration with Chinese partner Deesha, because Bart and Ann Claes’ company will service the Chinese market itself.
JBC and Chinese Deesha launched a joint venture as part of its expansion strategy, which led to new stores in Germany and a web shop in both the Netherlands and Germany. Belgian paper HLN now writes that the collaboration has been cancelled: “There were too many cultural differences between both companies and we realized that the collaboration was not the best solution”, Ann Claes said.
However, this does not mean that JBC will leave China: “We have a local team of fourteen employees, who decide which of our prints and pieces are sold on the Chinese market and those will therefore be sold online.” The project is still in its start-up phase, but “the advantage is that our Chinese team already has a lot of experience. We also have a Chinese contact in Shanghai, raised in Belgium and perfectly fluent in Dutch and Chinese”, Bart Claes added.
The company does not have any other expansion plans for the near future, not in Germany (where it has seven stores and a web shop), not in the Netherlands (with only an online presence). JBC will still continue to invest in those web shops, “because we notice that those online sales are better than in Belgium. In order to improve our web shops’ sales, we need to provide more money and people.”