Apparel retailer Alquemie Group is set to launch a series of National Geographic apparel stores across Australia and New Zealand. Recently acquiring urban lifestyle apparel chain General Pants, Alquemie Group, managed by private-equity group Acta Capital, expressed its intention to expand its brand portfolio, which includes Lego, Ginger & Smart, and SurfStitch.
Richard Facioni, the founder and CEO of Acta Capital and executive chairman of Alquemie Group, hailed the partnership with National Geographic, a US-headquartered company, as a significant agreement that strengthens their position as one of the leading retail operators in Australia. Facioni stated that they aim to strategically expand their retail and consumer brands footprint, exploring investment opportunities with top local and global operators, offering exciting new products in apparel, accessories, and adventure travel.
Kylie Watson-Wheeler, senior VP and MD for The Walt Disney Company in Australia and New Zealand, expressed her excitement about extending the National Geographic brand through new retail experiences, bringing fans and consumers closer to the renowned science, adventure, and exploration that National Geographic represents worldwide.
Meagan Sanders, VP & GM, consumer products at The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand, emphasized that the collaboration will bring National Geographic-branded stores to local explorers and continue expanding throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, a dedicated e-commerce channel will be established.
The first of eight new National Geographic retail stores in Australia and New Zealand is scheduled to open this year. The announcement coincided with the inauguration of the first National Geographic store in China, situated on the first floor of the bustling Hopson One shopping mall in Beijing. Alquemie Group, in partnership with Disney, will operate the Australia-New Zealand stores, as previously reported by Inside Retail.
The launch in Beijing signifies the start of an extensive expansion plan for National Geographic in China, aiming to open eight additional stores in key cities like Beijing and Shanghai this year. Furthermore, the company intends to enhance its physical presence in Hong Kong and Taiwan. National Geographic recently opened its first Taiwan store in the Lalaport shopping mall in Taichung, and already operates eight stores in Hong Kong. Pulse reports suggest that Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore are also slated to have National Geographic stores.
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