On July 9th, the flagship store of Cornell, France, opened its doors in the prosperous commercial district of Paris, and Zheng Xiukang, president of Cornell Group, went to Paris to cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony. Using this opportunity, the reporter interviewed him.
Kangnai is a privately-owned enterprise specializing in professional leather shoes manufacturing. Since its inception in 1980, the scale has grown from small to large, from weak to strong, creating many industry firsts in the footwear industry in Wenzhou and even in China. Today, Kangnai employs more than 4,000 people and produces 8 million pairs of medium-to-high-grade leather shoes annually, with annual sales exceeding 1 billion yuan. The stores are all over the country, with 45 marketing offices and more than 2,500 specialty stores. Five years ago, Kangnai went abroad to explore the road overseas. In late 2005, Cornell opened more than 100 stores in more than a dozen countries and regions including the United States, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ghana, and Vietnam.
Vigorously implement brand strategy
China became a member of the WTO in 2001, marking China's integration into the tide of economic globalization. Although China is a big shoe country, it has 1.6 million industrial workers and produces 6 billion pairs of shoes per year. However, 85% of the products are middle and low shoes, and most of the medium and high-end goods are imported from abroad. There are no Chinese independent brands in the top 100 brands in the world. Only by creating international famous brands can we gain a firm foothold in the global competition.
Cornell is one of the earliest enterprises in the leather shoe industry to implement brand strategy. "If China's shoes want to enter the international market, the most important thing is to improve internal strength, that is, products must have a strong brand, excellent quality and reasonable prices. Chinese footwear enterprises must change the way of export growth as soon as possible. The number of models changes from quality to brand," says Zheng Xiukang, who also does so. He took "hitting his head and creating brand-name leather shoes" as his motto.
â€œTraditional industries are moving closer to high technology and becoming associated with high technology, which is the mainstream of today's world development. As a traditional industry, leather shoes cannot be preceded by technology.â€ In 1990, Kangnai was the first to use a mechanized production line in Wenzhou. Makes the manufacturing level significantly higher than its peers. In 1992, it applied for the registration of the Kangnai brand. Since 1993, Kangnai has successively won the â€œChina Famous Brandâ€, â€œChina Top Brand Productâ€, â€œChina Leather Leading Shoes Kingâ€ and â€œNational Mianjian Product "More than 300 honors, such as the entry into the world's most famous brands of internationally competitive Chinese companies," succeeded in launching the brand.
If you want to create an international brand, it is absolutely impossible to create it in your own home. The domestic brand is louder again, and it cannot be called an international brand. To create an international brand, we must go to the world. In the 1990s, the groupâ€™s board of directors formulated a series of plans to go abroad. In 1998, Kangnai established the International Trade Department to open up territory for overseas development.
Take the road to internationalization
As a leading enterprise in China's leather shoes industry, Kangnai already has a certain strength to go to the world. In January 2001, Cornell opened its first store in the prosperous area of â€‹â€‹19th district of Paris, France, and took the first step in international development. In June of that year, Kangnai opened its second overseas store in New York, USA. After several years of persevering exploration, Kangnai also set up special halls and special counters in the malls of some countries. The popularity of the Kangnai brand has gradually become popular.
At the same time, Kangnai has extensively carried out international cooperation and exchanges, continuously improving the quality of the brand and accelerating the pace of progress toward the world. In 2001, Kangnai successfully became a member of the SATRA organization. SATRA annually provides Cornell with technical services including improving product processes, product quality, and product testing technology standards. In September 2004, the two parties signed a cooperation agreement. Kangnai invested 10 million yuan in the establishment of a SATRA certified world footwear design and research center in Wenzhou, solved the problem of China's footwear industry in line with international standards, and participated in international trade. The ranks of rule makers broke through technical barriers. Cornell has also registered Cornell trademarks in more than 50 countries around the world, effectively protecting its intellectual property rights.
Last year, Kangnai took another big step toward the world. On September 5, 2005, Kangnai took part in the MIDEC International Fashion Shoes Expo in France. With its excellent quality, she swept away the notion that â€œChinese people can only produce low-grade shoesâ€ in the eyes of the French. European senior shoe industry celebrities want to compete with each other. Cornell shoes establish contact in the development of France. In order to enter the French and European markets, Cornell has hired European shoe giants, Mr. Fernandez who has created SEBAGO DOCKSIDE, BOWEN, EMLING and other famous brands as consultants. According to European tastes and market rules, it is 2005-2006 winter and spring. The French market has designed more than 200 men's and women's leather shoes. In October, Cornell and the Great Wall of France established Cornell France in the Paris region. As the sole partner of Cornell products in the French market, Cornell created conditions for entering the French leather shoes market in all directions. On November 1st, the first batch of new Cornell shoes were placed on the French market. After a month of trial sales, they quickly occupied a place in the French medium-to-high-end leather shoe market with excellent quality and a price 25% lower than that of the same grade leather shoes.
On November 17 of this year, Kangnai invited more than 1,000 shoe industry people from around the world to jointly discuss the future of Cornell's deepening internationalization. On December 17th, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Kangnai Group, Wenzhou organized the "Harmony and Win-win - The Internationalization of Chinese Footwear Industry from the Road of Kangnai" forum in Wenzhou. Spain's Elche City Footwear Association Chairman Antonio attended the forum. On behalf of Wenzhou Footwear and Spanish Footwear, Kangnai signed the â€œWenzhou Declarationâ€ and promised to strengthen cooperation, mutual benefit and common development in the future. Kangnai invited the ADVANCED VISION CEO of the French department store chain to Wenzhou and signed a cooperation agreement. This means that Kangnai products will be driven into 200 medium and high-end stores in France in the next five years.
A multi-pronged approach to "going out"
Cornell went to the world and adopted a multi-pronged strategy.
The first is to use the power of Wenzhou-Chinese overseas Chinese. There are more than 400,000 overseas Chinese in Wenzhou in all parts of the world. Through entrepreneurship, many people have considerable economic strength. Kangnai participates in the world's large-scale shoe exhibition every year. Wenzhou-Chinese people often return home to visit relatives and friends and participate in commercial activities. In the process of the two parties' contact, Cornell went out and created a brand strategy that coincided with the overseas Chinese with business intentions. Among these overseas Chinese, some of them had run Kangnai shoes before going abroad, and they had difficulties with Cornell. After the "Europe Times" published an advertisement for "French Kangnai Company - a wonderful new business opportunity for the Chinese," more than 50 ethnic Chinese people have responded positively, demanding to join franchise stores and actively seek out stores. After negotiation and selection, Kangnai overseas franchisees gradually implemented.
The second is to establish the good image of the Kangnai brand overseas through various forms. In order to expand the popularity of Kangnai in Europe and America as soon as possible, Kangnai regularly advertises Kangnai's image advertisements and investment advertisements in Chinese and European Chinese newspapers, magazines, buses, and street sign light boxes to attract consumers' attention. Kangnai shoes are exquisite in craftsmanship, quality, and first-class style. They are positioned in mid-to-high grade leather shoes and retail at more than $60. Today, foreigners account for the vast majority of consumers in most of the world's markets.
The third is to promote "three more and three less" to resolve contradictions and achieve a win-win situation. Last year, Kangnai put forward the idea of â€‹â€‹seeking a harmonious development, and strived to achieve "more than three, three less": more initiative, less complaints; more brands, less quantity; more integration, less friction. Under the framework of the WTO rules of integrity and fairness, we seek to find the advantages and to solve trade frictions and disputes. In June last year, Zheng Xiukang traveled to Spain with the Wenzhou shoe inspection team and communicated with the country's shoe and shoe industry associations. It purchased a large number of Spanish shoe materials and achieved a win-win situation.
Chain sales account for the market
Without a chain store, it is difficult to form a scale operation. Kangnai has announced that in the next five years, Kangnai will open 1,000 franchised stores and counters worldwide.
After a short period of preparation, Cornell France will also open several stores in Paris in the near future. According to the company's general manager Chou Hancheng, the future goal is 100 stores and 200 counters, there will be 20 in Paris, an average of one area, the implementation of unified management. The company will provide free advice and consulting services for site selection shoppers; provide a unified storefront decoration design program for free; unified production counters and uniform work clothes by domestic production; unified distribution and double delivery as the unit to minimize sales risks Inventories were reduced to a minimum; pre-opening, free-to-consume series of postal advertising, and d'affaires for domestic printing production; combined with French customs and business practices, unified planning and implementation of promotional activities; and free provision of technical training. In the future, as long as the store has a phone call, the Cornell Paris Distribution Center will deliver it to the door.
Cornell France will not only rely on price advantages, but will also compete with other chain stores by virtue of its brand and reputation, and stand on foot in the competition. At present, Cornell France has gathered a group of management teams with high academic qualifications and strong activity capabilities. Kangnai is full of ambitions and is shortening the distance with internationally renowned brands. The road to internationalization in the future will become wider and wider and further away.
Cornell's new flagship store in Paris, France. Photo by Chan Chi Wo