Giordano (store)

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Giordano (store)
Public company SEHK0709
Industry Retail
Founded Hong Kong, 1981.[1]
Founder Jimmy Lai[2]
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key people

Peter Lau, Chairman & CEO[3]
Charles Fung[3]
Bernard Mah[3]
Milton Au Man Chu[3]
Barry Buttifant[3]
KWONG, Chi Ki[3]
LEI, Fei Peng[3]
Leung Kwok[3]
Hung Lui Chi[3]

Yee Yung Mei[3]
Products Apparel
Revenue Increase HK$ $5.55 billion (2014)[4]
Increase HK$ 2.36 billion (2007)[4]
Number of employees
~ 11,000 (2007)[5]

Giordano Concepts
Giordano Junior

Giordano Ladies
Giordano, NE Pacific Mall, Cabanatuan City, Philippines
Chinese 佐丹奴

Giordano, International Limited is a Hong Kong-based retailer of men's, women's and children's quality apparel founded in 1981 by Jimmy Lai.[1] Giordano, as of January 2008, employs more than 11,000 people and operates 1800 stores worldwide in 40 countries.[6][7]

A Giordano Ladies store in the mall SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

As of 1996, Jimmy Lai no longer owns the company and its current Chairman and CEO Peter Lau.[3] Although based in Hong Kong the company's principal global operations run out of Hong Kong.[8] The company is Asia-Pacific's most successful retailer and sells its name under the brands of "Giordano", "Giordano Concepts", "Giordano Junior" and "Giordano Ladies".[9][10] Giordano has been publicly listed since 1991 and since then trades on the Hong Kong stock exchange under the ticker symbol 709.HK.[11]


Early Beginnings[edit]

Jimmy Lai was born into poverty in mainland China's Guangdong Province in 1948. At the age of 12 Lai was smuggled by his family into Hong Kong which at the time was still outside Chinese Communists' control. Through relatives Lai easily managed to ascertain work at a local textile factory and by the age of twenty had succeeded in becoming the company's General Manager. With his first end of year bonus of $1000, along with all his life savings, Lai decided to trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The gamble, although risky proved fortuitous and Lai turned his measly original $3000 investment into approximately HK$40,000 dollars. With that money Lai bought out the owners of the bankrupt garment company of Comitex in 1975 and began manufacturing sweaters. The company was an overnight success and had exports to major American retail brands of J.C. Penney, Montgomery Ward and several others. It was during this time that Lai made several trips to the United States. He was then exposed to many western retail formats which inspired him to get into the retail market himself. In 1981 Lai founded Giordano (named after a favourite New York restaurant) and opened several stores across Hong Kong.

Giordano in the 1980s[edit]

Although presently a successful international retailing company, Giordano's first beginnings were ominous. [Jimmy Lai] originally intended for the company to target the upscale Hong Kong market, it proved unsuccessful, and soon afterwards the company was faced with closing down all over Hong Kong. However, instead of shutting down Lai turned to other successful retailers of the day for inspiration, and proceeded to transform the company. Soon Lai developed a new company formula. By drawing upon ideas from many already successful international retailing brands such as McDonald's, United Colours of Benetton and Marks and Spencer, Lai created a new Giordano which focused on simple and basic high quality styles, in many colours and sold at reasonable prices. The massive make-over included the company's approach to customer service and consequently Lai had all employees taught to emphasize the importance of the customer. The formula was successful and by the early 1990s Giordano had 200 stores across mainland China and Hong Kong. Other stores soon followed in the Middle East, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Giordano in the 1990s[edit]

Jimmy Lai faced trouble in Giordano's business in the 1990s after he criticized Li Peng, the former Premier of the People's Republic of China, in his Next Magazine in 1994. He began to experience financial and regulatory setbacks in Mainland China. He was not allowed to open Giordano stores on mainland. He also tried to list Giordano on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange but was thwarted by Beijing-backed rivals. However, he succeeded in winning a backdoor listing for Giordano finally.[12][13] It led him to sell Giordano in 1996.[14]



Mainstream Giordano brand focusing on quality apparel for men and women.

Giordano Ladies[edit]

Upscale market women's clothing much on the line with CUE. Operates mainly in the Asia Pacific region. Prominent in mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.

Giordano Concepts[edit]

A more upmarket brand of Giordano casual attire with a high emphasis on its own "less is more" retail approach. The brand focuses on the idea that less is more than just more, but that is cool as well. The brand's said "less is cool" approach involves innovative and modern black, white and grey monochromes in a large variety of styles. The approach gives the brand a very upmarket casual clothes attitude, very much on par with other international brands Polo Ralph Lauren and Lacoste. The Concepts range is significantly more exclusive than mainstream Giordano, as such Giordano Concepts only extends itself to the Asia Pacific market, in particular Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and only one store in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.

Giordano Junior[edit]

Children's clothing stores that sell a variety of stylistic and basic apparels for kids aged 0 to 14. Operates mainly in the Asia Pacific region. Prominent in most Asia Pacific nations and Australia.

Giordano Bluestar Exchange[edit]

A cheap brand of Giordano casual clothes. Prominent in most countries in which Giordano operates. Giordano Bluestar Exchange was rebranded by the company in early April last year.[when?] The original aim of the brand was to make Giordano more appealing to the budget-conscious shopper. However, after nearly 6 months of planning last year the company revealed the new BSX brand with the opening of its first store in Lung Cheung Mall in Hong Kong. The target of the change was to make Bluestar Exchange, now BSX, into a brand more appealing to the young and to those young at heart. The brand's new direction involves simplifying everything and offering new designs and styles to give BSX an edgy and urban attitude. Giordano hired relatively new company !TH!NK to head the marketing of the new BSX with hopes that a new fresh company could provide an original out of the box approach to promoting the brand.

Social Responsibility[edit]

Giordano supports a myriad of charitable organizations and causes as well as doing much of its sourcing in local areas, a move that has helped it avoid damaging currency swings in the past. Giordano was actively involved in distributing clothes to the victims of the Boxing Day Earthquake and the consequent tsunami.

While the company actively supports local communities it also believes strongly in making the workplace environment productive as possible for its 11,000 employees worldwide. The company's social responsibility is not only limited to its local communities and employees but also the companies and corporations in which Giordano conducts its business.[citation needed]


Giordano made its move to the Middle-East in 1993 with the opening of its flagship store in The BurJuman[1] in Dubai[15] The movement was a joint venture between Giordano International Limited and The Emirates Trading Agency[2] (ETA) of Dubai.[15] Today Giordano boasts 200 stores across 25 nations in the Middle-East and Eastern Europe.[15] Giordano International Limited is the largest shareholder in Giordano Middle-East, holding 20% of the company[16] . All regional operations for Giordano Middle-East run out of its Dubai head office in the United Arab Emirates[16]


Giordano Australia opened up in 1999 with its first store in Melbourne's Westfield Doncaster shopping centre. The company rapidly expanded across Australia and presently operates nearly 50 stores across 5 states and territories including Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Australian Capital Territory. As of 2008 the company no longer sells Bluestar or Giordano Junior through any of its stores.

In August 2009, Giordano Australia launched a brand new website with an integrated webshop. A wide range of the collections in stores can now be viewed and purchased online.

North America[edit]

On 14 February 2007 Giordano finally made its leap into the North American retail market with the opening of its store in the Aberdeen Centre (時代坊), Golden Villiage district of Richmond in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The store carries full ranges of men's, women's and children's apparel. This location was chosen due to its large Chinese-Canadian population, many of whom come from Hong Kong while it has an immigrant population of 60%, the highest in Canada and increasing.[17] Richmond has over 50% of residents identifying as Chinese, making it the North American city with the largest proportion of Asians.[18]

Eastern Europe[edit]

Although eastern Europe in itself belongs to a different continent all Giordano stores in the region are actually franchised through Giordano Middle-East. The company made its first European foothold with the opening of its first store on Chavchavadze Avenue in the Georgian capital of Tblisi. The company now operates several stores throughout the city, including one in the neighbouring city of Batumi. Giordano made its move to Armenia in 2004 with the opening of its store in the country's capital Yerevan. In April 2007 Giordano added Ukraine to its list of markets with the opening of its first store in the country's capital Kiev. Poland, Russia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and Belarus are other markets in which the company's has franchised stores.

Countries in which Giordano operates[edit]


  • Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Republic of the Congo, Algeria, Togo, Zambia

Central Asia[edit]

  • India, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Karachi (Dolmen Mall - Clifton)

Middle East[edit]

  • United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Maldives, Syria, Yemen

North American and The Caribbean[edit]

  • Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, United States

Eastern Europe[edit]

  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine

Store count[edit]

  • People's Republic of China (Mainland) (961)
  • Hong Kong & Macao (79)
  • Taiwan (199)
  • Korea (219)
  • Indonesia (203)
  • Thailand (142)
  • Australia (25)
  • Malaysia (92)
  • Singapore (49)
  • Philippines (70)
  • Myanmar (18)
  • Japan (15)
  • Brunei (4)
  • Armenia (3)
  • Canada (1)
  • United States (1)
  • Aruba (5)
  • India


External links[edit]