Hong Kong footwear retailer Le Saunda is branching out into products such as eyewear and cosmetics in a bid to capitalise on its high brand awareness in China

The diversification strategy is being targeted at the market in mainland China, where Le Saunda has 180 retail footwear outlets and last year generated 50 per cent of its total turnover. It is here the company believes there will be strong demand for middle and up-market products - particularly after China's entry into the World Trade Organisation.

Kelvin Yiu Chun-kit, executive director and financial director of Hong Kong-listed Le Saunda Holdings said the would license these new lines to partners, or "set up counters instead of opening shops to sell these items." He also told South China Morning Post that he had "lost faith in the local retail sector as conditions were worse than during the 1997-98 slowdown."

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