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Style How one picture is bringing Dunlop Volleys back: Australian brand to open 50 stores in China after a photo of the 'Beyonce of the country' wearing the sports shoes goes viral

06:06  05 july  2018
06:06  05 july  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Sales of the canvas plimsolls have rocketed in Asia since Hong Kong popstar Faye Wong - ' the Beyonce of China ' - was pictured (above) at the airport wearing an pair of Volley Internationals in 2016. Now a staggering 70 per cent of all Volley shoes

Volley shoes to open 50 stores in China after ' Beyonce of the country ' is pictured wearing them.

Now a staggering 70 per cent of all Volley shoes, once sported by Australian tennis stars including Rod Laver and Evonne Cawley, are bought in China© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Now a staggering 70 per cent of all Volley shoes, once sported by Australian tennis stars including Rod Laver and Evonne Cawley, are bought in China

Once worn by almost every teenager in Australia, Volley shoes are making an unlikely comeback with soaring sales in China.

In a bold move that has shocked industry analysts, Volley owner Brand Collective will open 50 new shops in the country with a massive flagship store in one of Shanghai's biggest malls.

Sales of the canvas plimsolls have rocketed in Asia since Hong Kong popstar Faye Wong - 'the Beyonce of China' - was pictured at the airport wearing an $85 pair of Volley Internationals in 2016.

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The move came on the back of massive online sales, as a result of photos splashed across the Chinese media of Asian pop star Faye Wong wearing an pair of Volleys while at Hong Kong Airport two years ago. But people in China like the Australian angle of Volley .

The move came on the back of massive online sales, as a result of photos splashed across the Chinese media of Asian pop star Faye Wong wearing an pair of Volleys while at Hong Kong Airport two years ago.

a person in a dress: Popstar Faye Wong who made the shoes popular in Asia in 2016© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Popstar Faye Wong who made the shoes popular in Asia in 2016 a man hitting a ball with a racket: Evonne Cawley, who famously wore Volley shoes, plays a backhand at Wimbledon in the 1907s© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Evonne Cawley, who famously wore Volley shoes, plays a backhand at Wimbledon in the 1907s

Now a staggering 70 per cent of all Volley shoes, once sported by Australian tennis stars including Rod Laver and Evonne Cawley, are bought in China.

The move to open bricks and mortar shops is highly unusual at a time when online shopping is pushing retail stores off the high street.

Sales of the canvas plimsolls have rocketed in Asia since Hong Kong popstar Faye Wong - 'the Beyonce of China' - was pictured (above) at the airport wearing an $85 pair of Volley Internationals in 2016© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Sales of the canvas plimsolls have rocketed in Asia since Hong Kong popstar Faye Wong - 'the Beyonce of China' - was pictured (above) at the airport wearing an $85 pair of Volley Internationals in 2016

One analyst told Daily Mail Australia it's part of an attempt to rebrand the shoes as cool once more.

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How one picture is bringing Dunlop Volleys back : Australian brand to open 50 stores in China after a photo of the ' Beyonce of the country ' wearing the sports shoes goes viral . Asos is praised for 'leading the way' in inclusive fashion after developing

Volley , formerly known as Dunlop Volley is a brand of sandshoe manufactured by Brand Collective. Formerly, it was produced by Dunlop Sport (Australia), part of Pacific Brands which separated the Volley brand into its Brand Collective Pty Ltd which was sold to private equity firm Anchorage Capital

'They're clearly trying to rebrand and utilise their past reputation from when they were a serious show,' he said.

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How one picture is bringing Dunlop Volleys back : Australian brand to open 50 stores in China after a photo of the ' Beyonce of the country ' wearing the sports shoes goes viral . Asos is praised for 'leading the way' in inclusive fashion after developing

a man standing in front of a crowd: Australian tennis player Margaret Court-Smith plays a forehand, 03 July 1970, during the Wimbledon championships in London. She famously wore Volley shoes while playing© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Australian tennis player Margaret Court-Smith plays a forehand, 03 July 1970, during the Wimbledon championships in London. She famously wore Volley shoes while playing

'By putting stores in cool locations and spending lots on refurbishing them, they can set their image from there.'

The 79-year-old brand put boots on the ground in China in May with a small pop-up store in Beijing to test the market.

'Since opening the pop-up store, we've had our biggest growth month in China ever,' Brand Collective brand manager John Szwede told the Australia Financial Review.

'The split between online and physical store sales is almost 50-50. It's remarkable how big the market is.'

He added: 'Seventy per cent of our wholesale sales are now going to China. It's been a massive shift since launching here 18 months ago.'

Volley shoes, which are sold in K-Mart and Target for around $40, first took China by storm with sales on sites including Amazon and JD.com. It now plans to cash in further with bricks and mortar stores.

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a black and white photo of a man: Australia star Rod Laver hits a backhand at Wimbledon. He famously wore Volley shoes© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Australia star Rod Laver hits a backhand at Wimbledon. He famously wore Volley shoes

Although the Chinese online shopping market is now worth $1.01 trillion, 73 per cent of Chinese people view shopping as a leisure activity, meaning malls will stay packed for a long time yet.

Brand Collective has formed a partnership with Tian Fang, the private owner of 16 major malls across China.

It plans to set up five Volley stores by the end of this year and 50 by 2021.

Volley shoes: A brief history of the famous Australian brand

The shoe made of cotton canvas with a thermoplastic rubber sole was designed by tennis star Adrian Quist in 1938 and produced by Dunlop Australia.

The shoe rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s when a host of tennis stars including world No 1 Evonne Cawley wore the around the world on the international tennis circuit infront of millions of fans.

The shoes remained popular in the 1990s and 2000s when it was trendy for teenagers to wear them to school or around town.

Volley shoes, which are sold in K-Mart and Target for around $40, first took China by storm with sales on sites including Amazon and JD.com. Pictured: A Volley store© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Volley shoes, which are sold in K-Mart and Target for around $40, first took China by storm with sales on sites including Amazon and JD.com. Pictured: A Volley store

The brand was bought by Pacific Brands in 2004 and separated into its footwear footwear and outerwear businesses Brand Collective Pty Ltd, which was then sold to private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners in November 2014.

In 2016, Hong Kong pop star Faye Wong wore a pair of Volley Internationals at Hong Kong airport and sales in Asia soared.

The brand is now expanding into China which accounts for 70 per cent of all sales.

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