PORTS: China’s Walk in the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard

Case Solution

Claudia H. L. Woo, Gerald Yong Gao, Jiangyong Lu, Hung Gay Fung
University of Hong Kong ()

As a manufacturer and marketer of luxury fashion items, PORTS distinguished itself from other high-end European and American brands due to its distinctive track record as a China-based company with Canadian history. The PORTS International company and brand were originally founded in Toronto in 1961 and were acquired by a Chinese immigrant businessman, Alfred Chan, in 1989. Although the brand gained prominence in North America and the United Kingdom in the 1970s and early 1970s the 1980s lost its fame in the early 1990s due to a global recession and mismanagement. In 1993, Chan decided to rebuild the brand by moving to Xiamen, China, where he established the new headquarters and factories. After that, the brand continued to be ranked as one of the most sought-after fashion brands in China. In 2003, the company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and gradually began to enter the western market. A new label, PORTS 1961, was created for the comeback and more high-end consumers. Although China was one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world, products made in China have often been associated with counterfeits and cheap, substandard products. Given that image is paramount in the world of luxury goods, how could PUERTOS address this perception of its products, as well as other challenges, and further expand its presence in the local and global market?

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