Hanover opens trade with China

Hanover Direct plans to make the tag line “Made in China” synonymous with luxury products while providing its catalogs with a new source for Asian-inspired merchandise. In late October, the Weehawken, NJ-based multititle cataloger signed an exclusive licensing, distribution, and marketing agreement with Compagnie Franiaise de L’Orient et de la Chine (CFOC), a Paris-based retailer of apparel and home decor that trades with China. “We want to dispel the notion that `Made in China’ means shoddy merchandise,” says Diana Quasha, president of Compagnie de la Chine, the wholly owned Hanover subsidiary formed as a result of the agreement.

In August, upscale gifts and home furnishings cataloger/retailer Gump’s was the first Hanover brand to start selling CFOC products, such as porcelain bowls and glassware. But the agreement will also affect merchandising across other Hanover titles. For instance, the Turiya catalog of luxury bedding, which launched in September, will feature bedding and robes exclusively from CFOC in its January edition. “There are enough products and resources available with this partnership that we can tailor collections of products to each of the Hanover catalogs,” Quasha says. “We want to be the primary purveyor of fine Chinese products exclusively serving the Hanover businesses.”

Hanover plans to sell the CFOC products wholesale as well, Quasha says. And she doesn’t rule out the possibility of a CFOC-branded spin-off catalog, or even an overseas catalog launch. “We want to crack the American market first, then see what other opportunities may arise.”