MontBell, the Japanese outdoor brand, has just opened its 10th store in a Chinese shopping mall in the city of Taiyuan in the Shanxi province. The company decided to delay its shop opening program for 2012 as it had to face a couple of difficulties in China last year, but it promised to move much faster in 2013.
As in Korea, MontBell China is run by LS Networks. In November 2012, LS Networks opened the MontBell China flagship shop in a shopping mall on 517 square meters on two floors. It is the largest mono-brand shop of outdoor brands in Beijing.
At the beginning, LS Networks, which is connected to LG Fashion, announced that it would open five department stores in 2012 and open 500 shops within the next five years. Like some other brands, MontBell had to slow down its rollout of new points of sale, which are mainly located in Beijing.
Like other brands such as Kolon Sport and Lafuma, whose license is managed through LS Networks, MontBell has been concentrating on department stores. Those points of sale are operated only by LS Networks without the support of regional distributors. It seems, however, that LS Networks has already realized the importance of specialty outdoor retailing, and MontBell China will now also try to work with some key outdoor retailers.