Written by Vicky Sung 15 Dec 06 -
To gain a better understanding of the characteristics of Thailand's fashion market and customer's shopping habit, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) released the report entitled "Thailand Fashion Market: Receptiveness of Hong Kong Brands" in early April 2006. This research study which covered 8 key areas (Mega Trends; Thai Consumers; Thai Fashion Market; Fashion Distribution Channels in Thailand; General Image of Hong Kong; Hong Kong Fashion Brands in Thailand; Thai Fashion Designers Going Abroad; and Major Challenges) found that garments from Hong Kong are increasingly popular as Thai consumers find them smart-looking and reasonably priced. Thai consumer spending is growing, with ready-to-wear apparel being in greatest demand. Mega trends Under the ASEAN-China FTA, Thai tariffs on imported clothing have been reduced from 30-37% to 20% since July 2005. Import duties on apparel will be further cut to 12% by 01/07, to 5% by 01/09, and 0% by 2010. Due to stiff import tariffs rates, delayed launching of new collections and lack of style diversity, well informed and sophisticated buyers of top-end global brands prefer to buy the latest collections during their frequent business/ leisure /shopping trips to Hong Kong and other overseas ports.
Nonetheless, retailers in Thailand see brighter prospects for foreign ready-to-wear fashion brands that are trendy and relatively low priced. Affluent middle class shoppers are also looking for local branded fashion items that offer a better lifestyle, albeit not yet reaching the luxury level demanded by exclusive brand buyers.
Thai retail market is very competitive; with retailers trying to differentiate themselves from their competitors by offering unique products and services. Nonetheless, more variety of quality products and...