Folli Follie to tap growth in China

Jewelry retailer Folli Follie plans to pick up its network expansion in China this year, tapping growth in the Asian country as it trims branch numbers at home, the company said yesterday. Giorgos Koutsolioutsos, vice president of the Folli Follie Group, said the company intends to open 35 stores in China in 2011, after opening 25 outlets last year. Out of FF’s 426 points-of-sale worldwide, 96 branches are in China, according to company figures at the end of September. «We are giving priority to China,» he told reporters. «We review these goals every three months.» The company, present in 24 countries, plans to reduce the number of branches it has in Greece as private consumption plummets and the local economy enters its third year of recession. «We may close stores in Greece and make bigger and better stores. Consumers are abandoning neighborhood shopping districts and opting instead for shopping malls,» he added. In the first nine months of the year, Folli Follie sales rose 8.4 percent year-on-year to 293.4 million euros, outpacing revenue growth in other subsidiaries such as Hellenic Duty Free Stores and Elmec Sport. Folli Follie is also active in the UK, Spain and France.