New York – The global pandemic has forced many in the industry to shift gears and look for novel approaches to regain market share. Fashion brand rights management firm FJ Benjamin, which used to have just one online brand on its portfolio –is now leaving brick-and-mortar behind to focus on online markets across Asia.
The fashion retailer has to close its 300 stores across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia as the coronavirus pandemic reached its peak and numerous lockdowns were in place.
Brand owners traditionally grant bricks-and-mortar rights to distributors, so of the 18 brands in FJ Benjamin's portfolio, it only ran an e-commerce store for one - Superdry - then. But the challenges posed by the pandemic have made brand owners more receptive to giving online rights as well, FJ Benjamin's chief executive Nash Benjamin told ‘The Straits Times’.
Encouraged by the warm welcome, the brand management firm has launched e-commerce stores for Guess, Casio and Pretty Ballerina over the past two months. It has also bid on brand new labels like streetwear label Anti-Social Social Club.
In the near future, the fashion group will roll out online stores for at least seven more fashion and luxury brands, including Rebecca Minkoff and Lancel, in the three countries it operates in. It will also take online brands such as Axel Arigato which already has a physical store network in the region.
"It gives us an amazing opportunity to see what works and what doesn't work without the investments in leases and store fit-outs," said the company’s CEO, Nash Benjamin, in a recent interview with ‘The Straits Times’.