The brand opened a 1500-square-foot store in the Ocean Terminal shopping mall in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui district Friday, which follows its first store in Causeway Bay.
In a telephone interview, Paul Tinkler, brand director for UGG Australia for Asia-Pacific, told Campaign Asia-Pacific brand sold its wares wholesale through department store Lane Crawford while waiting for the right locations.
“We have been waiting for the opportunity to find the right retail space, and Ocean Terminal is one of the best malls in Hong Kong for high traffic of shoppers and the wide variety of brands,” Tinkler said.
To coincide with the new store opening, UGG Australia will be running an ad campaign on Hong Kong trams and the MTR system, as well as street press like FlashOn and banner ads on the YouTube landing page.
The brand is using apparel and fashion-focused PR agency A-Vibe to do a major launch event in its Causeway Bay store in November, showcasing its autumn and winter collections. its products range from US$260 (HK$2000) for the classic short boot, to the Swarovski collaboration of its limited ‘City Collection’, which has crystals embroidery and comes with an auspicious price tag of HK$8800 (US$1134).
Tinkler said the UGG Australia shoes are female skewed and the products are now made in China, although 99 per cent of the material used is top grade ‘twin faced’ sheepskin wool from Australia and New Zealand, which he described as ‘extremely comfortable’.
Tinkler said that despite the hot and humid climate in Hong Hong, 30 per cent of the brand's business are is local consumers, 40 per cent is from Mainland tourists, and the other 30 per cent is Western and Asian expats. He also pointed out that Asian male consumers have become quite confident and ‘more adventurous’.
While many brands debut their products in Hong Kong and then expand into the China market, “we did it backwards and by the end of this year, we will have 37 UGG concept stores in the tier one and two cities," Tinkler said. The brand opened its first China store in Beijing in 2008.
Tinkler reported that by the end of this year, the company will have 70 stores in Asia with 14 stores in Japan as well as in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Inner Mongolia (which he said is a good market for them).
The brand has been engaging with fans on Facebook and Weibo. “We are considering more branding executions in the digital space in 2014,” he added.