Moonbasa, a Chinese website that came online in 2007, launched its Moonbasa USA branch last year to promote U.S. apparel brands to Chinese shoppers who are hungry for American clothing labels. The website has formed a strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerceâ€”through the Office of Textiles and Apparelâ€”to get the word out about U.S. brands and beef up U.S. apparel exports to China.
Barbara Graff, managing director of Moonbasa USA, headquartered in Los Angeles said that right now the Department of Commerce doesnâ€™t have anything in place to support e-commerce platforms to deliver U.S. brands to China. That means OTEXA has them on their website, and they will use them when they do all their â€˜Made in USAâ€™ support. They will recommend Moonbasa to the brands that are looking to get into China.
Kim-Bang Nguyen, director of export promotion and strategic alliances for OTEXA, said that partnering with Moonbasa will provide more inclusive technological tools for U.S. companies to make headway in selling to China and increase their exports to this vast market of consumers eager to buy made-in-USA apparel and products.
China, with a population of 1.4 billion people, is a burgeoning consumer market where shoppers want American clothing labels.
Currently, there are about 20 U.S. clothing brands on the website, and most of those are from Los Angeles. The first to join Moonbasa USA last year was Taylor & Sage to expand its young contemporary sportswear brand.
Also on the website is Ocean Current, another Los Angeles label that makes young menâ€™s surf-inspired clothing.
One World, a Los Angeles clothing concern with various labels, has joined to sell its Band of Gypsies and Halo labels. Stony Apparel, a Los Angeles juniorswear venture owned by Steve Maiman and Tony Litman, is selling its Love on a Hanger label on Moonbasa USA.
One of the latest to sign on with Moonbasa USA is Cosette, a higher-end Los Angeles womenswear line started last year by Rosa Kim. They decided to give it a try since China is a growing economy, the owner and designer said.
Moonbasa USA has a basic $2,500 fee, which covers the cost of registering the brand in China and designing a Web store. The website also takes a percentage of net sales. Other fees are involved if apparel companies decide to store their merchandise in Moonbasaâ€™s warehouses, located in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing, which happens more often when their clothing is manufactured in China. Otherwise, companies can drop ship their merchandise.
Early when Moonbasa was launched in 2007, it only sold Chinese-made clothing and lingerie on its website. There are now 200 Chinese brands on the website. But in 2014, the company was purchased by Guangzhou Mola Internet Technology Co., headed by Chief Executive Don Ho, who wanted to expand the website with an online U.S.-brand mall that targets primarily consumers between the ages of 18 and 35â€”who are the principal shoppers attracted to American brands.
Moonbasa has 10 bricks-and-mortar stores in China that carry merchandise, but last July it opened a new digital store on Nanjing Road, the popular shopping street in Shanghai, where consumers can peruse a computer to order clothes and try on merchandise. There is actual merchandise like a regular retail store and there are digital screens.
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