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Mc Group aims high in Asean jeans market via partnerships

Mc Group, producer of Mc Jeans, has set an ambitious goal to become a major Asean player within five years, driven by two recent foreign strategic partnerships - with Mindo Asia Investments and NTAsia Discovery Fund. The company aims for 20-per-cent growth this year to more than Bt4.5 billion in sales.

Sunee Seripanu, chief executive officer of Mc Group, said the company aimed to form partnerships this year with retailers in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Malaysia. The company already formed a partnership in Myanmar last year to open an outlet in Mandalay, while in Vietnam, a Mc Jeans outlet will be launched in Hanoi in March and in Ho Chi Minh late in the year.

As well, the company will sign a partnership agreement with a Malaysian retailer next month, and an Indonesian deal is in negotiations.

Therefore, the company has developed both materials and designs for Mc Jeans to suit Asian people, not a Western model.

"In an effort to prepare for market expansion in Asean, the company recently established an AEC [Asean Economic Community] division responsible for studying in depth the laws, taxes, logistics systems and market needs in each country," Sunee said.

She said the partnership with the two investment funds would be beneficial to the company in terms of know-how on market penetration in the region. It also reflects that the company has gained confidence from foreign investors on its strong fundamentals and bright prospects.

In the domestic market, Mc Group aims to open 100 new outlets nationwide on an investment of Bt300 million.

Besides the expansion of market segments through various brands including Mc Me, Mc Mc, Mc Pink, Mc Mini, and The Blue Brother Danim Store to meet diverse lifestyles, the launch of Mc Mobile Unit and acquisition of Time Deco were new growth drivers for the company last year.

In addition, the company is developing jeans for people aged over 30 under the brand Mc Me, while expanding a new product line with the launch of a premium brand in the third quarter of this year to compete with international brands.

Mc Group's subsidiary Look Balance acquired a 51-per-cent stake in Time Deco Corp worth Bt200 million. The acquisition is meant to promote business synergy between the two partners, particularly in business connections and distribution in the provinces.

Time Deco's extensive portfolio of watch brands will also enhance Mc Group's expansion of the products it offers in its shops, which will create higher asset utilisation for the stores. This will not only enhance Mc Group's and Time Deco's revenue and profit, it will allow Mc to respond better to customer demand and maximise return to its shareholders, the group believes.

At present, Time Deco Corp imports more than 20 fashion and luxury watch brands for both men and women. These include Diesel, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Coach, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Victorinox Swiss Army, Fossil, and Kenneth Cole New York.


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