Entering the Chinese market for 2 and a half years, how does the South Korean company have 180 MLB clothing brand stores?

Before the Children’s Day, South Korea’s listing trend group F & F opened the first batch of children’s clothing brand MLBKIDS independent stores in Shanghai.

On May 25, the two independent stores of Mlbkids were in Shanghai Global Port, and the first eight-year-old. MLBKIDS and F & F Group’s street life sports brand MLB has similar product lines, which is convenient to match the parent-child installation, but in design color is brighter, and children’s bag products.

Image Source: F & F Group

Many people may not know, when you are watching MLB (all known as Major League Baseball, American Professional Baseball Grand League) brand logo, selling baseball elements related to shoes, behind the store, it is actually directly Manage, but a third-party company to obtain a large alliance authorized clothing brand.

Since 2006, MLB headquarters authorized the general agent of China MLB store to a Hong Kong company (disbanded in 2015), the latter established an Acting industry in Shanghai, operating the MLB apparel brand and exceeding 300 stores in the mainland. However, the business category does not include online channels. According to lazy sorrows, the American Professional Baseball Union and the Ai’an Industrial Employed Cooperation in advance in early 2020.

Of course, the Chinese mainland market operates MLB licensed apparel brand more than one. New ERA, New York Company, US New York, also opened a company in the mainland market, and also wrote LOGO on the baseball cap.

In mainland China, F & F Group is the latest company that runs MLB branded clothing.

In January 2019, F & F Group brought the MLB brand that operated more than 20 years into the mainland market. F & F Group is responsible for selling product design, sales and brand operations of its MLB brand. Different from the Ai’an, the Korean company of the F & F Group has long history. It is founded in 1992, and the brand of operations today includes MLB, MLBKIDS, Outdoor Brand Discovery Expedition, Italy luxury down jacket brand Duvetica, Korean trend bag brand Stretch Angels, makeup brand Banila Co, etc.

According to the 2020 year, the F & F Group revenues for 837.6 billion won (equivalent 5 billion yuan), and the Korean local market has almost contributed to all sales. In all brands, MLB can be said to be the most important brand of the F & F Group, and the revenue contribution is around 50%.

In 1997, the F & F Group received a Korean franchise right of the American Professional Baseball Union, and the first store opened in Korea in June of the same year. Its design MLB brand products combines baseball elements, combined with street fashion trend concept, 90% of products are neutral.

Since 2017, F & F Group began to bring MLB brands from South Korea, entered East Asia and Southeast Asian market, and the first station was selected in Hong Kong in China. Subsequently, MLB brands have entered China’s Macau, Taiwan, and Thailand and Vietnam.

The landing Kids brand is its latest operational initiative in China.

Mlbkids is a derived brand of MLB. In 2010, the F & F Group launched the children’s clothing brand MLBKIDS on the basis of the MLB brand, and the store also basically followed MLB for expansion. At present, the contribution of MLBKIDS brands in group revenue is approximately 8%.


According to the data provided by F & F, from 31 May 31, 2021, MLB and MLBKIDS have more than 460 stores in South Korea, China (including Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, Taiwan), Thailand, Vietnam, etc.

As of May 31, in 2 years and a half in China’s mainland market, F & F Group’s MLB, MLBKIDS brand has opened more than 180 stores – this is a quite rapid growth, after all 2020, there is a new crown epidemic The impact of the offline retail.

Recalling the F & F Group’s entry, June 2019, it first brought the MLB in the mainland market in the Tmall flagship store, and in December of the same year, the first batch of physical stores were opened. In the middle of 2020, Mlbkids started the same as Tmall flagship store.

F & F Group China President Zhang Xuming; Source: F & F Group

Before entering offline retail, e-commerce has become the path to F & F Group to familiarize with China’s consumer demand. “The past experience is just our integration, fashion trend, and the accumulation of big data. We are thoroughly restarted for the Chinese market.” On May 28th interview, Zhang Xu Ming, president of F & F Group, believes that “we Starting from the line, by analyzing big data, it is constantly looking for what consumers are looking for, and the direction of the development of our month and weekly hot word. “

At present, F & F Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Feng Fan (China) Trading Co., Ltd. is responsible for the mainland market, mainly engaged in MLB, MLBKIDS. According to the 2020 annual report, Feng Fan (China) Trading Co., Ltd. has increased by $ 360 million to about 430 million yuan, accounting for 9.3% in the group revenue.


South Korea Headquarters attaches importance to the mainland market. Before the new crown epidemic, the Chairman of the F & F Group Jin Changxiu (Kim) visited China twice a month.

In addition to collecting consumption feedback on Tmall platform, the F & F Group China team also cooperates with Tmall New Product Innovation Center (TMIC), and then synchronize the information and data from South Korea headquarters. For example, Zhang Xuming team maintains the frequency of two formal meetings with the Korean headquarters. At present, the product development of MLB and MLBKIDS is mainly completed in Korea Headquarters.

This methodology that quickly understands the needs of Chinese consumers may be related to Zhang Xu Ming’s professional experience. Zhang Xuming joined the F & F Group as president of China in May 2020, before he successively served UNCE, Oreal, Adidas, New Balance and other brands, and deep cultivated the Chinese market for more than 20 years. Before joining the F & F group, Zhang Xuming is the CEO of Yafang China, promoting the full channel of Yafang in the “beauty store + CS channel + online e-commerce platform” in China.


The main driving force of this choice to open the MLBKIDS independent store is a more successful attempt to open a store in the store in the MLB store. In F & F Group, MLB, MLBKIDS is two separately operated brands, and stores in the store have become the initial attempt of Mlbkids online.

Zhang Xu Ming told slings Sports: “For example, the (Shanghai) round trade store as an example, MLBKIDS store China store probably accounts for 15% of business, and the average monthly sales of more than 300,000. Business is greater than most KIDS brands, so We have more confidence to open a separate store. “

According to Zhang Xu Ming, the MLB Ring Trade Store opened in early September 2020 is around 2 million per month. In September 2020, F & F Group opened MLB flagship stores in Shanghai, China Trade IAPM, and Mlbkids exposed in the form of stores in the form of stores. Subsequently, MLB opened MLBKIDS store in the HOIDIT in the Gaogang store.

Zhang Xu, said: “Whether it is a community or like the mall of the guest group like Global Port, we think it is relatively successful (” Zhang Xu Ming also mentioned that F & F Group chooses the independence of MLBKIDS in Global Port. The store, the people who attracted this full-family shopping mall, and the store also chose a flip-child atmosphere.

Located on the 3rd floor, the Mlbkids Gaogang Store is located in the same floor. MLBKIDS The first eight-part accompanying store is located on the 8th floor, and the same floor is similar to a parent-child atmosphere. In the Universal Port Mall, the MLBKIDS independent store is about 150 square meters, compared to the B1 layer, 27 square meters of MLBKIDS stores.

Usually, large companies have developed product plans based on the year. However, in the offline retail, F & F Group maintains mechanisms that encourage trials and rapid feedback, which makes it a Chinese team to have more flexibility. Zhang Xuming told the slings: “There is a goal, but the budget is rolling, whether it is sales indicator, personnel, investment, and expenses are followed by business, the market reflects.”


When the MLB brand introduced the MLB brand into the Chinese market, the F & F Group made a different direction in the entity retail, which was originally opened in three different positioned shopping malls: the new world department store of department store channels, the young guest group mainly And in the four seasons of Wujiang Road, try the street shop.

Subsequently, the F & F Group determined that the direction of development of MLB is focused on consumers. Zhang Xu Ming told the slings: “The more match the crowd, the faster the effect can be produced.” According to the data he gives, MLB consumers are biased towards young, women: 30-year-old guests account for 49%, Female consumers account for 70%.

At present, the F & F Group’s MLB brands have gradually sinking from the first line (Shanghai) to the new line, two or even three-fourth-tier cities. The rapid expansion of MLB offline, with some of the dealers, and some commercial real estate cooperation, such as Huadun, Wanda Plaza, etc.

From the current results, the F & F Group’s dealer system management is successful. Zhang Xu Ming told the slings: “We got a big data through the early test research, no matter from the city of T0 to T1, T2, the basic average sales contribution can be consistent, and the representative is the same place to get the same place. And sales volume and feedback. “

This is stem from the F & F Group to take synchronous sales data in the dealer system, and the Group’s self-owned shop and distributor store use a set of POS systems, synchronous dealers’ goods inventory, store sales, future, F & F group will be In the dealer system, the CRM system, synchronize consumer data, etc.


The challenges of the F & F Chinese team are how to let the team’s ability to keep up with the rapid development of the business. Zhang Xuming said: “MLB, MLBKIDS) get better repercussions in the Chinese market, so we also have a lot of sweet burdens, including accelerating the entire team to form, in the system to keep up, need to continue to all dealers and partners Update information, there is also communication. “

At the mainland market, the attraction of sports derivative brands is getting bigger. In February this year, US Sport E-commerce Fanatics announced the establishment of a joint venture with China Private Equation Fund, expanded the Chinese market, which is expected to be US $ 1 billion.

Zhang Xuming believes that the F & F Group’s MLB brands are positioned, the design concept, and the design, and the market strategy are different from these brands, which will be their competitiveness.

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Image Source: F & F Group