How to Find Chinese Distributors for Fashion, Clothing, and Apparel Brands

Chinese fashion distributors

2023 will be an excellent year for all luxury and fashion brands in China. Many distributors are confident, and positive, and actively research new fashion brands and foreign companies to join their circles.

But it’s important to select the right Chinese distributor for your business so that you don’t waste time and money, to eventually go through the same process over and over again. in this blog post, we will share with you the pros and cons of working with Chinese distributors and steps you should take to find trusted and reliable partners in China.

But first, who are Chinese distributors?

A distributor in China is a Company that buys products or clothing lines, has warehouses to stock them, and resells them to small Chinese retailers or direct to the end-users or customers.

There are 3 key things to keep in mind when looking for a distributor in China:

  1. Most distributors in China provide strong manpower and cash support to the supplier or manufacturer’s promotional efforts.
  2. They usually do not provide other services and they are not good at this.
  3. They are not here to invest in their supplier brand (you are their supplier)
Chinese distributors: Coping With China’s Shifting Distributor Network | IMA Asia

The pros of working with China distributors

Benefits of working with Chinese companies in distribution include cost savings and access to knowledge that is natively ingrained within China’s culture, as well as an array of services from importation assistance, marketing resources for trade shows, payment procedures and shipping details all leading up towards one key goal: maximizing your venture’s profitability.

Working with China distributors offers an ideal entry point into the mainland Chinese market. Their expansive network includes both foreign customers and locally-owned retail stores, luxury shops and trade shows – enabling timely delivery of goods anywhere in the country.

Moreover, their extensive knowledge of the current trends within this economy can be invaluable to any business looking for success here.

Most importantly though is that companies don’t need to go through complex registration procedures when working with distributors as they operate on commission from sales made by your company; positioning them perfectly to help drive maximum profit margins possible.

GISADA-COSMETICS-BRAND-CASE-STUDY-GMA

The cons of working with distributors in China

Working with distributors in China can come at a price – they usually work on commission, meaning that the cost of your products won’t necessarily be as competitive.

Furthermore, they often have many partners and may not focus solely on promoting your brand. When pushing forward into this market then you must practice caution to protect yourself against any potential risks so that revenue doesn’t take an unexpected downturn – set minimum sales quotas within all agreements for maximum security.

The best solution is to find a local partner that has a base of trusted suppliers and can help you communicate with those you would like to partner with, ensuring the smooth process. We can help you by linking you to the best distributors for your brand.

Chinese distributors

What can you expect from a Chinese distributor?

Chinese distributors are seeking profit, which means that they will chose foreign companies and products that are already well-known in China, so that they will sell fast. They don’t want to take risk with the products and brands that didn’t establish their presence in the Chinese market yet.

Distributors will go for products that have good quality and nice packaging, from a brand with a good reputation in China. The reputation is actually the most important element, which means you need to build your branding and reputation before contacting distributors in China. Below we will explain you in steps how can you do it.

How to prepare your brand for distribution in China?

Before contacting distributors, you need to build a presence of your brand in China. Finding distributors should be actually one of the last steps to do, you definitely can’t start from looking for them, because they won’t take care of any marketing and branding for you. If you want to enter the Chinese market, you need to start from building branding and reputation online.

Start from creating a Chinese website

Chinese consumers (and distributors) always check the Internet when they get interested in a brand and the first place they check is usually Baidu (just like we do on Google). Therefore, it’s advisory to have a Chinese language website that is hosted in Mainland China, so that Chinese customers can scroll through your page, read on what you have to offer, check your product descriptions, payment and shipping terms, find the information about social media accounts and so on.

Hosting the website in China is crucial for SEO purposes, as Baidu lists first the domestic websites and they will always be prioritized above the foreign ones. This is also why you need your website to be in Chinese (but also because the majority of Chinese people don’t speak English and would leave your site as soon as they don’t find chinese characters there).

Michael Kors Chinese website
Michael Kors website in China

Take care of your Baidu SEO strategy

In order to rank high in Baidu search results (Baidu is the most popular search engine in China), you need to optimize your website for Baidu SEO. This means finding the right keywords, putting catchy meta descriptions, taking care of backlings and more.

Apart from the website, you can also participate in forums and Q&A platforms, that are still very much alive in China. If you participate in platforms like Zhihu or Baidu Tieba, you’re not only gain a better score on Baidu search engine result pages, but also appear more in search, which will add more credibility to your brand.

Distributors searching for any information about your brand will check those places and trust you more, when they see some discussions online.

SEARCH-RESULTS-FOR-LUGGAGE-QUERIES-ON-ZHIHU

Gain reputation on Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms

Chinese website will give you credibility, but without social media accounts, you won’t be able to gain Chinese consumers trust. All of the companies in China, whenever they sell fashion accessories, services, cars or pet food, they all have social media accounts, so that they can communicate with their customers and have more sales channels to sell locally.

WeChat

WeChat is the most important social media platform in China, with more than 1.26 billion monthly active users. Chinese people use it to communicate with friends, family and brands, they check the news, brand accounts, short-videos, shop using WeChat mini-programs, pay using WeChat pay, order taxis, book trips and many more.

WeChat is a great platform for local and foreign businesses because it offers many different options, depending on your needs and budget. When it comes to attracting distributors, we recommend setting a Wechat H5 brochure. It’s a HTML brochure in a mini-program that serves as a mini website, or a catalog of your brand and products.

WeChat marketing

Those brochures are interactive and very easy to share, which will make the communication with distributors easier and faster. It will also show them that you understand the local market and are serious to sell products in China.

Weibo

With over 500 million users, Weibo offers an exceptional opportunity for businesses to reach out and engage with customers in China. It’s a free-to-use social media platform similar to Twitter but boasts unique features such as the ability to post longer messages alongside images and videos.

To maximize success on Weibo, it is important that your business puts effort into creating interesting content tailored towards connecting with Chinese consumers, being active by regularly posting updates about company offerings or industry news, plus responding promptly when questions arise from followers.

Tiffany & Co. on Weibo

Little Red Book

Little Red Book, or Xiaohongshu, is a very trendy platform focused mainly on user-generated content. Often called the Chinese Instagram, Xiaohongshu is a perfect platform for fashion and beauty, as the main focus are lifestyle images and product recommendations.

This platform is good to gain reputation and build brand awareness. The majority of users are young women sharing tips and reviews on fashion and beauty topics. It’s also a great platform for influencer marketing. You can collaborate with KOLs to help you build the brand presence in China by posting sponsored content and hosting live-streams with your products.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency case study: Larizia

Set and account on B2D website

Tmall Global B2D is the ideal platform for businesses that have their sights set on selling to China. Whether it’s medical equipment, office supplies, or designer fashion and beauty products – this innovative e-commerce system offers a variety of ways for companies to export goods directly onto one of the world’s largest retail platforms with ease. You can access over 800 million Chinese customers through Tmall.

The database contains over 85000 distributors and Chinese suppliers all in one place for international businesses. Tmall also takes care of supply chains, payments, logistics and more – all in one place! If language barriers present an issue for you however, our team can provide support with setting minimum sales quota or deciding on trade shows and trading companies; ensuring your brand’s success within this expanding marketplace.

Shopping on Tmall

Remember about public relations

To build a successful presence in China, word-of-mouth marketing and effective public relations are essential. Chinese consumers place an extraordinary amount of trust in recommendations from trusted sources such as family members or online influencers – making good PR practices necessary for building strong relationships with local distributors.

As part of this effort, businesses should consider creative strategies to promote their organization and product quality, including crafting news stories that present them positively, issuing press releases regarding noteworthy events related to the company or individual involved, arranging interviews between journalists and key personnel within the business and developing meaningful connections with relevant industry figures who can serve as credible brand endorsers.

Case Study Gucci

What to look out for when you search for distributors in China?

Our company is in contact with distributors since many years and over this time we’ve got the experience and know-how on how those type of relationships should work. If your company is already present in China, you’ve got good reputation and the brandind needed for success, now it’s the time for the next step, which is to find distributors that will be interested in importing products from you. Here are some things to consider.

The first step is to identify Chinese distributors

Do you want to contact Chinese distributors, and resellers of fashion clothing in China, or get in touch with apparel distribution players (even know agents)? We may provide you with a list of retailers, shopping malls, and Chinese distributors and can help you to contact them. You first have to identify in which field you want to evolve: Fashion? Luxury? Apparel? Clothing? Accessories? There are retailers for each of them.

Resellers China Fashion

Understand that distribution in apparel/fashion in China is complex

We can provide consulting to help you to understand this market. We can also explain how the Chinese network, Guanxi (关系), is essential for your process. To deal with Chinese distributors, you will have to develop your network, find new partners, and participate in events to increase your relations network in China. If people talk and know about you, they will easily trust you. In developing Guanxi (relationship) with China Resellers, you must repeatedly exchange information with them, and show a clear marketing plan.

Communication is the key to establishing great business relationships with Chinese Distributors

When you plan to visit China, it is highly recommended to use the help of a partner (can be us can be another company too). Only partnerships with reliable distributors will be valuable: choose them carefully! One bad relationship can cancel all your plan. In China, it’s all about reputation and image. Check the information and reputation of the potential distributor, it may be a privately owned limited liability company.

Always be in control and don’t lose it over distributors

Establishing and maintaining distribution relationships is critical for foreign companies entering a new market. While local distributors can be powerful entry points, it’s crucial that brands remain in control of their strategy to ensure long-term growth potential isn’t sacrificed by shifting interests or changing priorities.

By fostering personal connections with your partners you’ll preemptively combat the risks associated with becoming too reliant on external influences over your brand’s success.

Remember about regular communication

Communication between the brand and its distribution teams is essential for staying up-to-date with market trends, helping salespeople effectively represent the image of your products, and ensuring that Chinese distributors are delivering accurate performance data.

Two-way communication can prevent potential miscommunication while keeping both parties well informed – ultimately promoting positive results in a dynamic environment.

By providing comprehensive training to key distributors as well as encouraging them to be deeply engaged with their respective roles within the company’s mission statement will contribute to furthering success for all stakeholders involved.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency case study: Larizia

Hire a Chinese sales agent to develop your research network in China

You have to know that few distributors/wholesalers can operate everywhere in China. They use other distributors to sell to another region/province. You may have to identify many local distributors to cover the whole Chinese market. But you should start with working with the strategic areas. If you think about hiring a sales agent, it is highly recommended that he has experience. The sales agent will prospect shops, distributors, and malls for you; being Chinese will also help him with your company’s development.

Trust a reliable agency to build your e-reputation

Besides trusting a sales agent to take care of the physical and on-the-ground part, you will need to care of your reputation through word-of-mouth and network, but also of your digital e-reputation. Betting on digital campaigns and practices will highly accelerate your development and your chances to find the right partners for your brand.

GMA (Gentlemen Marketing Agency) could be your perfect partner; with more than 10 years of experience, we know the secrets of the Chinese market and can help you through various services.

  • We can help you to understand the Chinese Market and help you to penetrate it
  • We can help you with your tailor-made digital marketing campaign
  • We can support you to develop your business in China

Contact us for more information, our consultant team will explain how it works!

We have a list of distributors, retailers, and wholesalers. With more than 10 years of experience in China, we know how it works, and we have contacts. Just send us an email and we will send you our condition and link you to the most suitable Chinese supplier or distributor.

33 comments

  • italia-Mao

    Hi! I also would like to find good retailers and distributors for a friend’s brand!

  • Hello,
    I want to resell foreign brand on my wechat, i have more than 5000 quality contacts that regulary buy from me.
    Contact me with your product and brand
    Grace

    • Hi We are a Swiss luxury underwear brand zimmerli, we are established in 1871 and all products are imported from Switzerland. Are you interested in reselling our products in China and becoming a wholesale partner? you can contact me at s.wang@zimmerli.com

  • Hello Western Fashion Brands,
    We are a small online distributor in China. We have a taobao store and we welcomed foreign fashion premium brands to resell in China.
    If you want to enter to our store, or see our store, simple just send me an email
    oq.philip@gmail.com

  • Kathy Chen

    Hello
    We are a online distributor of fashion brands, we have more than 2000 online stores and influencers that works for us.
    We are searching for great Brands to resell in China.
    contact us with your brand information I will contact you back

    • Hello!

      We are High-end Streetwear brand and we are looking for a distributor.
      Please give me your Email!

      Thank you

    • Annemarie Noorland

      Hello Kathy,

      Came across your post on FashionChinaAgency website, our Group is investigating the possibility to launch a brand in China.
      Could you provide me with some company details and brands your represent as a first assessment from our side.

      Thank you,
      Annemarie

    • Dear Kathy Chen,

      Please be noted my intention :
      I intend to import fashion apparel from China since near- distance and good price with great competition.
      However, cheap and rough fabrication is not we need.

      What we need:
      Pls recommend good stores as the warehouse for us to import for resell by stores in Taiwan.

      Of course, it is really small – quantity in initial stage, but we believe this is good beginning.

      My store is located in Kaohsiung nearby the shopping department , definitely need your supporting to make best improvement as best as we can.

      My name is Miss shi lein chen

  • Isabella wu

    Hello
    We are a distributor of apparel in China with large network of 300 retail stores. We are searching to resell foreign famous brand in China.

    • Annemarie Noorland

      Hello Isabella,

      Came across your post on FashionChinaAgency website, our Group is investigating the possibility to launch a brand in China.
      Could you provide me with some company details and brands your represent as a first assessment from our side.

      Thank you,
      Annemarie

  • Chongqing General Trading Group

    We are searching for represent European Brands in China, brands can contact us.
    We are Chongqing General Trading Group;

  • Dominic Tang

    i want to get some shopping malls contact to develop our business, pls adv if you can help us?
    first of all, i want to open some account for China E-commerce platform.

  • Hello

    We are looking for distributors of men’s garments in China , any one interested pls email to us Raju@uniqueoverseasinc.com

  • Raju Meharchandani

    I am from India and would like to introduce a brand of Fashion Accessories for women in China. What are the possibilities and scope there in domestic market. I have vast experience in Fashion jewelry, hair accessories, body toppings etc.
    Please feedback me.
    Thanks

  • Can you help a Brand to find online reseller?

  • Hello
    We are a chinese clothing online shop, and we can resell on Taobao, tmall, xiaohongshu, kaola Western Brand from Europe.
    Can we partnership together? You supply famous brand, and we resell them in China?

    • Hello Maggy, I am Rosa. We have premium stock of fabrics from very famous Italian brands and we would like to resell them in China. You may have the right connections we need and work together.

  • we are an Italian high-end shoe company already well established in several countries worldwide ( Italy, Europe, Russia, UAE, Iran, Beijing )

    You can have a precise idea of our actual distribution checking the shop map of our website

    We are planning a new around the world tour to better understand and decide the marketing implementation and consequent development of the company.

    The brand is skyrocketing the market and it has become mandatory for us to enlarge the distribution also in the Far East and in the Americas.We have Pr agencies in the USA and in Europe and we are now interested in finding the upper-cut of the Pr agencies in the Far East, somebody adequate and deeply competent able to provide business, networking, and brand development opportunities. China is a great country, a market that requires the right people for the best results.

    We would like to meet those of you who want to take part in this project in terms of business distribution.

    II you are interested in working with us, please get in touch with us and we will be able to fix an appointment.

  • Can you help a Brand to find online reseller?

  • Hello,
    I would like to launch my Designer Brand in China, what is the % of chance to find a Distributor in China?
    It is necessary to work on Branding ?

    • A

      Depend on the Branding…. Branding is everything in China. And we can help you to work on that. 😉

  • Vicky Cheng

    Hello,
    We used to be a Factory for cloth manufactorung and now we are changing and start to distribute fashion Western Brands, contact us

    • A

      Good to know you Vicky. I will contact you and will list you in our Distributor List for Fashion / Clothing.
      If any Brands have potential, we will introduce to you.

  • Josepha

    Hi
    I want to Export Fashion items to China, and find an exclusive online distributor of leading brands in Italian luggage, handbag, and luxury accessory.

    • A

      thank you for contacting us Josepha; email is usually better for communication 😉

  • TEEMTRAVELFashion

    Hello , I want know more about china fashion trends in Retail, and about
    fashion in china 2018 , do you have report for chinese fashion trends 2018

    I am ready to purchase a Report for china fashion industry statistics

    You told us that street fashion in china is super popular right ?

    Do you know the giggest China fashion market, did you heard about
    e land fashion china holdings?

    • A

      We do not have this report, maybe you can go to some Research reselling platform or ask Market Survey Agency.

  • A

    Sure Catherine, we will contact you. 😉

  • We are already exporting nearly 20 years including 6 to China. I run workshops, do live stream, teach organic skincare to moms and am a freelance writer. We had some success in Watson, China (retail) the only Australian brand to do so. We are looking to partner with Watson for ecommerce. I in HK this week then China educating. can you send to us your Contact list please, we want to work with distributors in China

  • My name is Elazar, I am a professional designer, I specialize in branding for companies, products, events. I have worked with entrepreneurs and companies both in Israel and abroad, consulting brands at the very early stage as well as established companies. People says me that I have unique business approach and innovative thinking. I want to know more information about your offer ?

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