True Religion has partnered with Aurorae Group, owner of Evisu Group, for its long-planned expansion into China. Key elements include opening 65 freestanding and shop-in-shop stores by 2026 and offering its jeans and sportswear on China’s major ecommerce marketplaces. A license agreement with Aurorae Group will cover both existing products and new ones developed specifically for the Chinese market, which is expected to represent 10% of True Religion’s global brand volume by 2026.
“Expansion into the Chinese market has been on our roadmap for the past several years, so we are very excited about our partnership with the fantastic team at Aurorae Group,” said Michael Buckley, CEO of True Religion in a statement. “The right partner is key to success in China, and Aurorae’s proven local market expertise will enable us to successfully grow True Religion’s presence throughout mainland China as well as in Hong Kong and Macau.”
On the brick-and-mortar front, True Religion is planning to operate a total of 108 stores by 2028. For ecommerce, the brand will use a multi-platform strategy: Tmall.com, JD.com, Douyin.com and Dewu.com, among others, will soon be offering its products. True Religion’s own DTC business will focus on key markets, specifically on growing its North American business.
True Religion has set high goals for itself after filing for bankruptcy (for the second time in three years) in April 2020, citing the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic on an already weakened financial position. By July 2022, the brand had revealed that it was pursuing a $500 million annual revenue goal after indicating online sales would be a key growth element.