Group celebrates 10 years in the Asia market
Ten years ago, the Cotton On Group took a big step in their global growth plan through entering the Asia market, opening a Cotton On store in the world-class Wisma Shopping Centre on Singapore’s iconic Orchard Road.
The plan worked – last week, the team that executed this first store, and many others who have joined us along the way came together to celebrate the decade since the Wisma store opened and along with it, 243 additional stores, four Distribution Centres and near three thousand team members recruited across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Enticed by the Asia market
The decision to enter the Asia market was underpinned by a number of factors, not least being the market’s love of basics along with fashionability, their appetite for a strong value proposition, the shopping culture, and the similarities in climate to Australia.
Progression for Cotton On Group Asia
After opening the Wisma Cotton On store and Singapore Distribution Centre in 2007, and in seeing the demand for our product, we progressed to opening our first Cotton On store and Distribution Centre in Hong Kong the following year, followed by Malaysia in 2009, the Philippines and Thailand in 2012 and Indonesia in 2013.
In 2014, the Singapore country hub opened and to date, over 90 team members operate from within this office. Regional offices have also since opened in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Today, we have five of our brands operating in the market; Cotton On, Cotton On Body, Cotton On Kids, Typo and Rubi Shoes, over 244 stores and our e-commerce sites span across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and a partnership with Zalora Group.
Asia Country Manager, Andrew Woolcock says his team should be proud of the growth they’ve seen over the years,
“I think the growth we’ve enjoyed from one or two stores in Singapore to over 200 stores in Asia in four countries in 10 years has been spectacular. We can all be really proud of what we have built in the last 10 years; it’s been an incredible journey.
The key to the growth has been the teams – we’ve built phenomenal retail teams with great leaders. We’ve had some amazing talent join our Group and to see their personal journeys and personal success has been a really rewarding experience.”
The next 10 years
Continuing the Cotton On Foundation’s mission to deliver quality education, we have partnered with a new education centre in Phitsanulok – a province in Thailand. The Cotton On Foundation’s first project under this partnership will be the construction of a new school, set to begin in November, in the village of Bwe K’lar.
Improvements to the student’s health and education have already started, including funding a feeding program that delivers 892 meals each month. In the Phitsanulok region teachers are often paid half salaries; we’re committed to ensuring the teachers within the school we’re funding are paid full salaries.
In an effort to give our team members and customers across Asia the opportunity to support a local project, while being part of a global movement with our foundation, all funds raised through the sale of products in Asia will support local projects such as our school in Bwe K’lar.
10th birthday celebrations
In recognition of the exciting decade milestone, our Asia team and Cotton On Group Executives from our Geelong Headquarters came together at Singapore’s picturesque HortPark on Tuesday, September 5th to reflect on their achievements since 2007 during an event called ‘Engage Asia’.
After an insightful day listening to our leaders and inspirational team members who’ve been with the Asia market since the beginning, it was time for the team to celebrate and relax together at the evening birthday celebrations.
The Asia team arrived at the iconic Fullerton Hotel in the early evening with the event held on its rooftop Lantern bar. Stepping out from the elevator, the team were greeted with a beautiful view of the Singapore city skyline and an eye-catching sign sitting across the pool from arriving guests which read;
’10 years of achievements, made possible because of our people. Thank you’.
The team were excited for a night of commemorating their countries’ ten year anniversary with the Cotton On Group. Across the venue, each team member’s expression said the same thing; that they were incredibly proud of how far they’ve come and where they are as a team today.
The event saw Woolcock excited to see what his team will achieve in the decades to come,
“This team event was not only about celebrating all that has been achieved but also looking to our forward plan and how we all want to grow this remarkable business over the next 10 years. We’ve got some of the best retail minds in the game within the Cotton On Group, and they’re really empowered to think of the business as their own.
It’s been a phenomenal journey.”