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“徐榮燦,亞洲奧萊教父”—— 新加坡《海峽時報》獨家對話砂之船集團董事局主席

發布時間:2019-11-12

近日,新加坡權威綜合媒體《海峽時報》記者來到重慶,在砂之船集團首家奧萊誕生地獨家采訪了砂之船集團董事局主席徐榮燦,為廣大讀者揭秘這個亞洲奧萊領航人物的生活和商業智慧。


以下是全文翻譯,文章內容引自《海峽時報》:


Vito Xu,Don of Asian Outlet Malls

徐榮燦,亞洲奧萊教父

 

In some ways, Mr Vito Xu's life mirrors the spectacular rise of China and its embrace of the outside world after the late Deng Xiaoping opened the economy to foreign investment four decades ago, setting in motion history's most amazing economic leap by any nation.

There's first the name, Vito, which is a favourite among Italians and draws its roots from the Latin word "vita" (life). Not one you would ordinarily associate with a person born Xu Rongcan and into a humble farming family in Chongqing. 

從某種程度上說,徐榮燦的生活際遇反映了中國的崛起及其對外開放的壯觀景象。40年前,鄧小平改革開放中國經濟,吸引外國投資,開啟了歷史上最驚人的經濟飛躍。

首先是Vito這個名字,它是意大利人最喜歡的名字,來源于拉丁語“vita”(生命)。你通常不會將它與出生在重慶農村普通家庭的徐榮燦聯系在一起。

 

The chairman of Singapore-listed Sasseur Reit gave himself that name because he has been a lover of all things Italian since his student days. That's also when he began his entrepreneurial journey with 6,500 yuan borrowed from his mother and brother, when he opened a small cafe at his university.

徐榮燦是新交所上市房地產投資信托基金(Sasseur Reit)的董事局主席,他給自己取了這個名字,因為他從學生時代起就熱愛意大利。也是在那時,他開啟了自己的創業之旅,從母親和哥哥那里借了6500元,在大學里開了一家小咖啡館。

 

It wasn't the most successful of businesses but, by then, the idea of running his own business was fully in the heart of the young Xu. Two years later, while in Shenzhen, he saw an opportunity for trading in clothing and, with that insight, opened a shop in his home town. That year - 1992 - he grossed his first million yuan in revenue.

盡管初次創業并未取得巨大的成功,但那時,經營自己生意的想法已經完全扎根在年輕徐榮燦的心中。兩年后,他感受到外貿服飾行業的巨大商機,帶著這種洞察力,他回到家鄉開了一家服裝店。那一年,也就是1992年,他賺到了人生的第一個100萬。

 

Today, at a time when many Chinese malls are struggling, Mr Xu presides over a bunch of profitable outlet malls that he first opened in Chongqing, but is now taking farther afield in China. Four of those malls are grouped under the Sasseur Reit, listed in March last year, which last week nudged a billion dollars in market capitalisation before easing to $962 million at last Friday's market close.

如今,在中國許多購物中心陷入困境之際,徐榮燦的奧萊卻越來越好。他最初在重慶開設了第一家奧萊購物中心,現在正把觸角伸向更遠的中國市場。目前砂之船在中國經營著10多家超級奧萊,其中四家奧萊作為Sasseur Reit的初始資產去年在新加坡成功上市,Sasseur Reit上周市值接近10億新元,上周五收盤9.62億新元。

 

"My father was illiterate, but a village leader," Mr Xu told me recently, reflecting on his now three-decades-old journey as a businessman. "There was little experience in business."

The young businessman went on a long tour of ltaly and France in 1987 and was dazzled by what he saw. Paris and Rome were also capitals of design and high fashion. People waited breathlessly every year for the latest releases from houses such as those named after the Parisian designer Yves Saint Laurent and the Florentine genius Salvatore Ferragamo.

“我父親不識字,他是村里生產隊的隊長,”回憶起自己30多年的經商歷程,徐榮燦感慨道:“我幾乎沒有經商的經驗。” 1987年,這位年輕的商人在意大利和法國進行了一次漫長的旅行,他被眼前的景象驚呆了。巴黎和羅馬是設計和高級時尚之都,每年伊夫·圣洛朗(Yves Saint Laurent)和薩爾瓦托·菲拉格慕(Salvatore Ferragamo)等大牌的新品發布都是萬眾期待的盛事。


The people, he felt, were welcoming of him. Down in Sicily, they even thought he was Japanese because, at the time, few there had seen a Chinese person. Mr Xu felt at home. Like China, Italy too was an ancient civilisation, where people carried strong family values.

Returning to Chongqing, where people had just started to grow out of the drab clothing of the Mao Zedong era, he started his own high-end fashion clothing with a shop at the Li Ka Shing-owned mall in the city's Liberation Square area. Interestingly, he sold not only labels of the famed design houses but also his own brand of women's wear, which he named Sasseur.

The name stems from his first business, a cafe whose moniker translates in Chinese as "ship of sand", after a famous tune of the time by a Taiwanese singer. "Sasseur" is apparently a French transliteration, suggested by a Frenchman patron who was in Chongqing teaching the language.

歐洲人素來熱情友好。在西西里,他被認作是日本人,因為在那個時候,還很少有中國人去意大利南部旅行。和中國一樣,意大利也是一個文明古國,人們有著強烈的家庭觀念,徐榮燦感到很自在。回到重慶后,他在重慶解放碑廣場李嘉誠大都會購物中心開了一家商店,開始經營自己的高端時裝,此時中國消費者對于時裝的認識還不是很深入。有趣的是,他不僅出售著名設計公司的品牌,還出售自己的女裝品牌,他將其命名為Sasseur。這個名字來自于他初次創業經營的那家咖啡館,名字的中文翻譯是“砂之船”,歌名取自于臺灣歌手蘇芮的一首歌曲。“Sasseur”是一個法語詞,由一位在重慶教法語的老師取的。

 

Art Commerce 藝術商業

His corporate philosophy, he said, is art commerce - artistry and sophistication blended with commerce. As for his company's corporate colours, the decision didn't take too long. He borrowed the national colours of Italy.

徐榮燦說,他的企業哲學是藝術商業——將藝術的深度與商業融合在一起。至于公司沿用至今的標示體系,則是借鑒了意大利國旗的顏色,這個決定并沒有花費太多精力,卻讓砂之船擁有了簡潔又有辨識度的企業標志。

 

That dual approach - fascination with the foreign and an eye for the quality home-grown - is sustained to this day. While Sasseur outlet malls have shops selling the biggest global brand names such as Burberry and Armani, there are plenty of Chinese brands as well with names like Li-Ning and Bosideng.

這種著迷國際名品同時對高質量國內品牌關注的雙重態度一直持續到今天。在砂之船,你既能看到巴寶莉(Burberry)、阿瑪尼(Armani)等全球知名品牌,但也有很多像李寧(Li-Ning)和波司登(Bosideng)等等日漸風行的中國品牌。

 

That leads me to wonder aloud why Asia, with its swiftly expanding purchasing power and vast pools of creativity, hasn't had more home-grown fashion brands. Could Sasseur play a role to advance their growth?

這讓我不禁想問: 為什么亞洲沒有更多的本土時裝品牌? 亞洲的購買力迅速增長,創意資源豐富。砂之船能起到促進它們成長的作用嗎?


"There are some good Chinese brands and many up-and-coming young designers," said Mr Xu, "But they will take time to gain more international recognition. Seven out of 10 tenants in my outlets are Chinese brands, so that's how Sasseur can help."

“中國有一批優秀的品牌和許多嶄露頭角的年輕設計師,”徐榮燦表示,“但他們需要時間來獲得更多的國際認可。在我的奧萊購物中心,10個租戶中有7個是中國品牌,砂之船可以為他們提供一個很好的平臺。”

 

For now, the China market is chasing global trends but he sees a time when young Chinese will lead fashion trends at home and display their own unique characteristics.

目前,中國市場正在追趕全球潮流,但他認為,中國年輕人將引領國內時尚潮流,展示自己獨特的個性。


In the popular perception of China, the nation is a den of counterfeit goods and knock-offs of global brands with weak protection for intellectual property. But things may be changing.

由于歷史原因,認為中國是廉價生產和仿制品生產基地,知識產權保護薄弱,這種認知在國外仍普遍存在。但這種情況其實早就開始在改變。


Earlier this year, Shiseido chief executive Masahiko Uotani tied up with Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce platform company, to sell high-end cosmetics in China. When I expressed surprise to Mr Uotani that such a premium brand would link up with Alibaba, he gave me a perfectly reasonable explanation.

今年早些時候,資生堂首席執行官魚谷雅彥(Masahiko Uotani)與中國電商平臺公司阿里巴巴(Alibaba)合作,在中國銷售高端化妝品。當我對像資生堂這樣的高端品牌為何選擇與阿里巴巴合作時,他給了我一個非常合理的解釋。


Within Alibaba, he told me, there are two channels. One is a low-end offering like Taobao, which supplies cost-conscious customers, including in rural China. The other corridor, with which he is involved, is focused on growing high-end brands.

他告訴我,在阿里巴巴內部有兩個渠道。一種是像淘寶這樣的低端產品,為注重成本的客戶提供服務,包括中國農村地區的客戶。另一條渠道,是專注于發展高端品牌。

 

"Every time I meet Jack Ma or their management agency, I find them keen to grow the brand. So, we give them even Cle de Peau Beaute, our most high-end product. They do no discounting and know their product segment, and know how to precisely target the affluent segment in their 500 million customers who buy those products."

“每次我見到馬云或他們的管理層,我都發現他們渴望提升品牌。因此,我們最高端的產品系列—Cle de Peau Beaute也在淘寶進行了上線。他們非常了解自己的產品細分市場,對這一類產品不會進行打折促銷,他們知道如何精準鎖定購買這些產品的5億富裕階層客戶。”

 

This was news to me at the time. So, I asked Mr Xu about how he perceived the issue himself.

His own company, he said, imposed stiff penalties on any store in his outlet selling counterfeit goods. At the same time, Chinese increasingly preferred to buy genuine high-end products, if they could afford them. Indeed, thousands of them have been going overseas to buy the real stuff from fashion centres around the world.

這在當時對我來說還是個新聞。因此,我問徐先生,他自己是如何看待這個問題的。

他說,他的公司對其商場出售假冒商品的商店會進行非常嚴厲的處罰。與此同時,如果經濟能力允許,中國人越來越傾向于購買真正的高端產品。事實上,成千上萬的中國游客正是境外高端消費的主力軍。

 

At home, when they buy these goods, they prefer to do it in bricks-and-mortar outlets than on online platforms because of the personal touch and lifestyle experience, he explained, shrugging off the challenge from online rivals.

他解釋道,在國內,當消費者購買這些商品時,他們更喜歡在實體奧萊購買,而不是在網絡平臺,因為在實體商店可以試穿、感受商品的品質,同時砂之船還提供各種豐富多彩的生活方式體驗。他沒有理會來自網絡競爭對手的挑戰。

 

Not that Sasseur itself had not tried online collaborations. But it turns out that the experiment had not gone too well and the company discovered that the overlap in customers of regular stores was no more than 5 per cent at the maximum. The middle-income households that Sasseur outlets serve live within 30km of the facilities and look for lifestyle activity alongside their shopping. Online shoppers, on the other hand, tend to buy cheaper and more standardised products and tend to live farther away.

但這并不表示砂之船完全無視線上渠道,砂之船也嘗試過線上銷售,但是實踐顯示,線上線下顧客的重疊最多不超過5%。砂之船奧萊的主要客群,中等收入家庭通常住在距奧萊30公里以內的區域,他們在購物的同時還會尋找生活方式活動體驗。另一方面,網上購物者傾向于購買更便宜、更標準化的產品,而且往往住得比較遠。

 

Why Singapore? 為什么選擇新加坡

Most Chinese companies looking for overseas investments tend to use Hong Kong if they need a convenient window to the world and I am curious to know why Sasseur picked Singapore to list its real estate investment trust. Mr Xu said he did so on the advice of a key investor, consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton.

大多數尋求海外投資的中國企業,如果需要一個通向世界的便捷窗口,往往會選擇香港。我很好奇,為什么砂之船選擇新加坡作為其房地產投資信托基金的上市地點。徐榮燦表示,砂之船集團主要投資者、專注于消費者的私募公司L Catterton熟悉新加坡市場,為成功上市帶來了更多的支持。

 

To run the Reit, he hired the veteran Anthony Ang, an Imperial College and Insead-educated technocrat whose 35-year career included senior positions in ARA Group, GIC Real Estate and the Economic Development Board.

為管理房地產投資信托基金,他聘請了在帝國理工學院(Imperial College)和歐洲工商管理學院畢業的資深行業專家安東尼?洪明發(Anthony Ang)。擁有35年行業經驗的洪明發曾在ARA Group、GIC房地產和經濟發展局(Economic Development Board)擔任高級職位。

 

Mr Ang explains that, while the Hong Kong stock market is significantly larger than Singapore's, its Reit market is smaller, with just 11 of the entities listed there compared with about 45 in Singapore. The S-Reits are also more international, tending to attract global investors seeking an Asian play.

洪明發解釋說,盡管香港股市比新加坡股市大得多,但其房地產投資信托基金(Reit)市場規模較小,只有11家實體在香港上市,而新加坡大約有45家。新加坡REITS也更加國際化,更利于吸引尋求亞洲投資的全球投資者。

 

On a personal level, Mr Xu enjoys the island's orderliness and is frequently in Singapore over weekends. Indeed, he chose to send his three children here to give them international exposure, enrolling them at Stamford American School. His fashion-expert wife Yang Xue, on whom he bestowed the name Sasseur as a mark of affection and gratitude, lives here.

從個人角度,新加坡的規范、整潔也深得徐榮燦的喜愛,他經常在新加坡度過周末。事實上,他把孩子們也帶到了新加坡,他的孩子目前在斯坦福德美國學校接受國際教育。他的妻子楊雪是一位時尚專家,為了表示對她的喜愛和感激,他把Sasseur這個名字送給了她。

 

Sasseur Reit has had a good run in the year past, clocking sales growth of 20 per cent. Mr Xu sees no difficulty in maintaining that pace, more so since three of the four properties in it are new. And he plans to add more assets to the Reit in time to come.

As for concerns that a falling yuan could hurt profits when translated into Singapore dollars, he said there has been enough currency hedging to compensate. Besides, the Singdollar itself has slid in recent months. The long-term yuan-Singdollar rate, he said, should be fairly stable.

過去一年,砂之船房地產投資信托基金表現良好,銷售額增長了20%。徐榮燦認為,保持這一增長速度并不困難,因為其中4個物業中有3個是新建的。他還計劃在未來向Reit注入更多資產。至于人民幣貶值可能損及轉換成新元后的利潤的擔憂,他說有足夠的匯率對沖來彌補。此外,近幾個月來,新加坡元本身也在貶值。他說,人民幣兌新元的長期匯率一直是相當穩定的。

 

The wider Sasseur Group has 10 outlet malls, including the four bunched in the Reit. The group, he said, is looking at unprecedented growth opportunity. The next decade will be the golden era for the outlet business in China and the many distressed retail assets of traditional retailers offer his firm a tremendous opportunity to go asset-light and turn around the ones it picks.

而作為Sasseur Reit發起人的砂之船集團擁有更龐大的規模,包括Reit內的4家奧萊,砂之船集團在中國目前已經開業的奧萊一共有10家。徐榮燦表示集團正面臨前所未有的增長機遇。未來10年將是奧特萊斯在中國的黃金時代,傳統零售商的許多不良零售資產為他的公司提供了一個巨大的機會,使其輕資產化,并使其選擇的那些資產扭虧為盈。

 

In the past 18 months, no fewer than 140 potential deals have been placed in front of him. The Sasseur team has been picky, signing fewer than 10 new malls, and these will be up and running in the next two to three years.

過去18個月里,不下140個合作機會找到徐榮燦和砂之船,砂之船集團在選擇合作時非常謹慎,只簽了不到10家新商場,這些商場將在未來兩到三年內建成并投入運營。

 

I am curious to know his views on Singapore retail, now that he visits the island so regularly.

鑒于徐榮燦先生目前長期在新加坡工作,他對新加坡零售業的看法也讓我感到十分好奇。

 

"The Singapore retail sector is well developed but it suffers from a common problem with retail the world over - most establishments are not differentiated and are lacking in the life and spirit that can excite shoppers," he said. "Retail should reflect more of local cultures and flavours so as to create an emotional connect."

他說:“新加坡的零售業發展得很好,但它與世界各地的零售業存在一個共同的問題——大多商場沒有差異化,缺乏能激發購物者的生活體驗和精神。零售應該更多地反映當地文化和喜好,從而創造一種情感上的聯系。”

 

The mother of the tennis-loving Mr Xu died 13 years ago and his father, now 83, lives in their home village of Erlanggang. Among his many blessings, he said, is that his work meshes so much with his love for art, while having his lady love as a business partner.

徐榮燦的母親13年前去世了,現年83歲的父親還住在他們的家鄉。他說,他的幸運之處在于,他的工作與他對藝術的熱愛如此契合,同時他的愛人也是事業上最好的伙伴。

 

I asked the dapper 54-year-old Vito Xu about his favourite brand of clothing for personal use. 

徐榮燦今年54歲了,盡管只是接受訪問,他的著裝也是一絲不茍,并且有著強烈的個人風格。我問他最喜歡的個人服裝品牌是什么?


"Tom Ford," he said, unhesitatingly. "Somehow, their suits are cut in a way that fits me better than any other brand I know."

“Tom Ford”他毫不猶豫地說。“他們家西裝的版型與裁剪比其他品牌都更適合我。”


Fast facts

· THE CHAIRMAN

Mr Vito Xu is chairman of the Sasseur Group and its Singapore-listed real estate investment trust (S-Reit), Sasseur Reit. He is 54 years old.

Born into a farming family in Erlanggang, Chongqing, Mr Xu was educated at Southwest Normal University. In 1989, with 6,500 yuan, he started his journey of "art commerce" by creating the Sasseur brand with a coffee house.

In 1992, he entered the clothing industry, opening a garment store and working as an agent for international brands.

He then created his own women's wear brand - Sasseur.

In 2008, he built Sasseur (Chongqing) Western Outlets, the first such outlet. It won that year's Top 10 Fashion Landmark of Chongqing. Mr Xu was also named Chongqing Fashion Icon by the local government.

The Sasseur Group today has 10 outlet malls in China.

Mr Xu was awarded Knight of the Order of the Italian Star by the Italian government in 2015.

關于徐榮燦

徐榮燦今年54歲,是砂之船集團及砂之船房地產投資信托董事局主席,出身于重慶璧山一個農村家庭,在大學時期用6500元開啟砂之船藝術商業的創業之旅。1992年進入外貿服裝行業,作為代理商將多個大牌引進重慶市場,并創立自營高端女裝品牌。2008年,砂之船集團首家奧萊在重慶開業,隨即被政府評為十大商業地標,徐榮燦也獲評重慶時尚先生。目前砂之船集團在全國范圍內已開業10家奧萊。2015年徐榮燦被授予意大利團結之星騎士勛章。


THE COMPANY

Sasseur Reit is a Singapore-listed real estate investment trust that started trading on the Singapore Exchange in March last year.

The first listed outlet mall Reit in Asia, its initial portfolio comprises four retail outlet malls in China, located in Chongqing, Bishan, Hefei and Kunming, with a combined lettable area of 312,844 sq m and an occupancy rate of about 96 per cent.

Sasseur Reit is managed by Sasseur Asset Management, which is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Sasseur Cayman Holding.

The S-Reit has a market capitalisation of $962 million, based on its closing price last Friday.

關于砂之船房地產投資信托

砂之船房地產投資信托基金于2018年3月在新交所成功上市,是第一家在亞洲上市的奧特萊斯房地產投資信托基金。砂之船房托通過其在中國快速發展的城市(如重慶,昆明和合肥)策略性設立的四個優質奧萊門店資產的初始投資組合,凈出租面積312,844平方米,為投資者提供獨特的機會,投資中國快速發展的奧特萊斯市場。

砂之船房托成立的投資策略主要是直接或間接投資于主要用于奧特萊斯購物中心的多元化收入型房地產投資組合以及與上述相關的房地產相關資產,主要集中在亞洲市場。 

砂之船房地產投資信托當前市值為9.6億新元。

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