HSBC Helps Luxury British Brand Embrace New Relationship with China
Luxury British pushchair brand iCandy has seen its relationship with China evolve over the years to the point that - with assistance from HSBC - the company is now fully embracing the Renminbi (RMB) as a currency for future growth.
The family-owned business has been a customer of HSBC since the company’s inception 80 years ago; and in this their anniversary year, the bank approached iCandy with a proposal that would help them transition to the RMB currency and achieve global success.
Joint CEO Bradley Appel said: “Our grandfather started the business in 1933. When my brother Warren and I entered the business we were manufacturing child safety seats. Eight years ago we launched iCandy and that’s really helped us to innovate and produce the most beautiful and highest quality products on the pushchair market.
Our worldwide innovation of the first single-to-double pushchair in a single footprint is the cornerstone of iCandy’s success in the UK and globally, and we are incredibly proud to be promoting great British design around the world.
We do all of the design and engineering here in the UK, but all of the manufacturing is done in China. Our relationship with China has evolved over the years. In addition to the registration of our own company there and employing a whole team - who build, assemble and QC all products - we are now also selling into China with a distributor in the region.”
Bradley, alongside his brother Warren, understands that the RMB is becoming a more significant player in the currency market, with economists indicating that it is set to be one of the top trading currencies by 2015. As such trading in RMB is vital for iCandy’s future growth.
“We pay our suppliers in China in the RMB currency now with payments made directly from the UK. What we did previously with US dollars, we can now do with an RMB account,” says Warren. “The fluctuation with the dollar made it very difficult, so a significant benefit with RMB is the stability it provides. We are able to negotiate strongly with suppliers, and as a result, our prices have become more stable as we have removed the risk factor associated with the US dollar.”
iCandy is now selling through shops and boutiques in Shanghai, and the initial response has been very good with indications from retailers that it should become one of the top brands in China.
Bradley concluded: “46.5% of the world’s billionaires are concentrated in China and Hong Kong, so as a luxury, quality product the potential is huge. The future of China is looking bright, and there’s no doubt that the RMB is going to become an ever-more important currency, so, with our expansion into the region, we feel that we are perfectly placed to take advantage of the benefits it will inevitably bring.”