Grand plans for Bico in China
2015-05-27 [Press release]
On May 1st we opened the first Bico flagship store in the exclusive furniture mall Red Star Jin Qiao in Shanghai. “China is ready for high-end bedding brands and Bico is unique on the Chinese market”, says CK Lee, Hilding Anders President Business Region Asia.
Why are you opening a Bico store in China at this point?
“Witnessing the quick rise of a rich middle-class in China and the fast development of the premium bedding segment, we realized we have an opportunity to benefit from this trend. Leveraging on our rich global product portfolio, we are able to place ourselves in a multi-tier price point with clear offerings and positioning. We see our current Chinese Slumberland brand in the mid-price segment and with the launch of Bico, which is imported from Switzerland, we will tap into the premium segment for with a strong imported brand.”
How is Bico positioned on the Chinese market?
“With its Swiss origin, Bico is unique on the Chinese market. Bico is the only brand with three powerful pillars, Bed Climate, Ergonomics and Bed Hygiene, with cutting-edge hybrid technology empowered by the Hilding Anders SleepLab. We position ourselves to be more premium than other European and North American imported bedding brands. However, we don’t intend to compete with Super Premium offerings, which often are focused on luxurious materials. Instead, we want to be a brand that provides high-end, but still affordable, solutions. Bico will stand for Swiss technology and health while Slumberland stands for British heritage and innovation.”
Location is key to good business. Why did you choose the Red Star Jin Qiao in Shanghai for the first Bico store?
“Red Star is the leading chain furniture mall in China and the Jin Qiao area is one of the national economic development zones in the Shanghai Pudong district. More importantly, Red Star Jin Qiao is close to Bi Yun International Community, one of the most high-end residential communities in Shanghai. It perfectly matches the profile of our targeted consumers: people with high income and an aspirational lifestyle, resulting in a desire for the best for their health.”
Where will you be a year from now?
“Most successful furniture or bedding companies in China use the franchise model. We will use this model for the Bico brand as well. It enables the brand to expand business quickly by leveraging strong partnerships and resources. This will ensure both local and timely service to our customers. Therefore, to find the right franchises that share the same vision for this business is key. Our first Bico store is our first attempt get it right and test the market. By the second half of 2015, we will set up more flagship stores in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing. We have high hopes of reaching a double digit number of stores by the end of 2016.”