In today′s "Industry Insight"- we′re going to be talking about fast-fashion brands.
Officially called S.P.A brands,... Korean companies are considered late-comers to the industry.
But that hasn′t tamped down their big aspirations.
Connie Lee has more on this. Connie-
Simply put, SPA brands sell trendy items at competitive prices.
Currently, these S.P.A brands... or fast-fashion brands... here in Korea... make up about 8 percent of the fashion industry,... but... with the potential to grow even more. //
The top three biggest SPA brands... are UNIQLO, ZARA AND HM... and all of them saw record-breaking sales last year.
Data shows that the total sales of the top three brands last year topped 1-trillion won... or more than 980-million U.S. dollars.
That′s up nearly 31 percent... from the year before.
But despite the TIGHT competition,...the LOCAL S.P.A. brands are now just fighting among one another they′re also trying to expand globally.
Here′s a closer look. They are the so-called "fast-fashion" brands, or S.P.A. brands, easily seen in Seoul′s busy shopping districts.
Over the past couple of years in Korea, there′s been a growing demand for these... SPA brands with both foreign and domestic firms flooding the streets, here in Korea.
"I like these kinds of brands because their prices are reasonable, and they have styles that are liked by most people."
SPA, short for "specialty retailer of private label apparel"... had a market worth of about 500-billion won in the Korean market, back in 2008,... but has since grown to about 3-trillion won... or about 2-point-8 billion U.S. dollars in 2013.
"The SPA brands in Korea are changing the paradigm of the fashion industry in Korea. Before we saw brands more focused on their brand image but now it′s about the retail store′s image and how to meet the exact demands of its customers."
SPA brands do it all from design to manufacturing and retailing thus, prices are lower and new items can be produced at a faster rate.
"For many of these SPA brand retail stores, there are new items that hit the racks almost weekly. And at this store, new products are apparently delivered every day."
Currently, the three biggest SPA brands in Korea are not homemade..... They′re Japan′s Uniqlo,... one of the first SPA brands to enter Korea in 2005,... Spain′s Zara and Sweden′s HM.
The local brands, which are latecomers to the SPA world, however, are not afraid to join in on the competition.
Retail conglomerate, E-Land Group, which introduced Korea′s first SPA brand called Spao in 2009,... currently has more than 10 such brands under its belt.
Their aim is global expansion first, by conquering Asia.
"We found success with our first stores abroad in China and Japan.
So we now plan to increase the number of our SPA brand stores in China to 50 next year. / We have an edge over our foreign competitors because we design and produce according to the specific tastes of our Asian consumers."