Caixin
BUSINESS & TECH

‘Shoe King’ Belle Down on Its Heels

By Chen Mengfan, Qu Yunxu and Teng Jing Xuan
Belle International Holdings Ltd. is the world's largest maker of women's shoes, but its business has been hurt by a perception that its fashions aren't up-to-date and by online competition. Above, Belle autumn shoes are displayed in Shenyang, Liaoning province, in September 2014. Photo: Visual China
Belle International Holdings Ltd. is the world's largest maker of women's shoes, but its business has been hurt by a perception that its fashions aren't up-to-date and by online competition. Above, Belle autumn shoes are displayed in Shenyang, Liaoning province, in September 2014. Photo: Visual China

China’s king of shoes, the retail giant and footwear manufacturer Belle International Holdings Ltd., faces an uncertain future in a business realm under threat.

At the height of its power six years ago, Belle boasted a retail network of more than 20,000 stores across China. It was selling more than 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) worth of shoes every year. And it was the biggest mainland retailer on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2011, only four years after listing, with a market capitalization of about HK$150 billion ($19.2 billion).

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