Korean TV shopping channels look to exclusive brands

Korean TV shopping channels look to exclusive brands

High-end fashion brands and home shopping channels are forming unlikely alliances as sales through more traditional routes continue to falter.

While department stores have traditionally been the main outlet for high-end fashion brands, such retailers have seen their sales fall for five consecutive months, even as home shopping firms have shown the opposite trend.

This, coupled with the operators' desire to expand their customer base, is bringing high-end fashion brands together with home shopping channels ― until now considered a platform for affordable, lesser-known brands.

"Home shopping channels' sales of fashion (items) continue to show double digit growth each year, and (home shopping) companies are competing to secure differentiated brands," a Shinsegae International official told a local news agency.

According to industry sources, Hyundai Home Shopping is working with the fashion company Handsome to launch a new women's fashion brand during the second half of the year.

Handsome Seoul-based operates a number of its own brands such as TIME and MINE, as well as markets imported labels including Bally and Lanvin.

This marks the first time for Handsome to sell products through a home shopping channel.

In addition, Hyundai Home Shopping is set to launch a brand that specializes in clothing made from pleats in April in collaboration with a Busan-based fashion company.

Such fashion-home shopping tie-ups are not limited to the smaller companies.

Fashion giant Shinsegae International, an affiliate of the Shinsegae Group, recently launched EDITED, a home shopping-exclusive brand, in collaboration with GS Shop.

Shinsegae officials said EDITED recorded 600 billion won (S$744 million) in sales just on the first airing last month.

In addition, CJ O Shopping ― another television retail giant ― launched a second brand named Steve Yoni STUDIO with designer couple Steve J & Yoni P.

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