If you’re surfing on Mecox Lane, the leading Chinese online platforms for apparel and accessories which SINA owns stake in, you may find out about its newly-released RMB 29 (US$ 4.4) T-Shirts, while VANCL, the largest B2C clothing site in China has been selling T-Shirts at the same price earlier this month. Mecox Lane’s response to VANCL with low-price T-Shirts could be a sign of upcoming price wars, just like what happened between 360buy and Dangdang late last year as we covered before.

Actually, it was VANCL which first came up with the idea of selling branded T-Shirt online in last year’s release of VANCL VT line (see picture below). The campaign had a great impact on MetersBonwe (China’s leading casualwear apparel company) MT and Uniqlo (leading fast-fashion brand from Japan) UT, both are popular lines of T-Shirt in Chinese market during summer season. So I believe both offline retailers such as MetersBonwe and their online counterparts should be on full alert for VANCL’s new move this year.

Why T-Shirts? As a matter of fact, T-Shirt business is a big deal. It’s the most popular clothing, with sales volume of over $1 billion in U.S. each year and $5 billion in the whole world. While in France, T-Shirts accounts for a market share of 23.4% of the total clothing markets, tops the clothing industry.

And it’s also the most popular clothing category during summer in China. According to VANCL, the first week after last year’s innovative introduction of VT saw a sales volume of 600,000 to 700,000. VANCL sold over 3 million units of VT in 2010. While in this year, VANCL is in cooperation with more than 120 designers to launch 1500 kinds of VT with different and unique patterns and designs, targeting a record sales volume of over 15 million pieces and sales revenue of more than RMB 300 million ($45.5million) for 2011.

Ben Jiang

Listener of startups, writer on tech. Maker of things, dreamer by choice.

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