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Comvita Opens First Store In China


Comvita Opens First Store In China

Natural health products company Comvita is rubbing shoulders with big international brands like Boss, Calvin Klein, Valentino and Escada in one of China's largest shopping malls.

A new Comvita store has just opened in the MIXc shopping mall in Shenzhen in the heart of China's Guangdong region – just across the border from Hong Kong.

The 188,000 square metre mall features around 300 international and domestic brands on six floors.

Comvita Asia's regional manager Sam Tsoi says many famous brands have opened stores in the mall due to its close vicinity to the Hong Kong border.

"Shenzhen is an important foreign trade and international exchange port in China," he says.

The MIXc offers a unique mid to high-end shopping and recreation centre for both the seven million surrounding residents and the fast-growing Chinese tourism market.

Comvita Consumer Division Manager, Scott Coulter says the opening of the store in China is the continuation of a long term strategy to position Comvita's products at the high end of China's rapidly expanding consumer brand markets.

Coulter says this dovetails nicely with the positioning Comvita has already established with the China Duty Free Group. He says Comvita has also built up reasonable experience of the duty free market with its existing outlets at Hong Kong's international airport.

He says Comvita products are now retailed in airport and duty free stores in selected airports across China. And there are expected to be a number of airports of the size of Hong Kong's operating in China over the next decade, further boosting the duty free market.

Coulter says tremendous numbers of Chinese are now travelling abroad – 11 million in the first five months of 2004.

"China has the highest growth in outbound tourists in the world," he says. "That means there are now more international tourists from China than from Japan."

"Air passenger traffic in China is expected to tip 104 million passengers this year. When you consider that has risen from 87 million passengers in 2003, our decision to target the travel and tourism market is proving to have promise."

Coulter says it has taken a lot of hard work and persistence over many years to establish markets in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. However Comvita's 35% growth in Asian markets in 2004 says they are on track.

"We have a good plan, we are following that plan and now we just have to remain focused and build on the solid base we have."

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