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Beyond the Bale : March 2013
FAST FACTS l AWI has established a partnership with Sanfo -- one of China's leading outdoor retailers. l The partnership has generated a wide range of media attention, including two feature articles in Outdoor Exposure -- China's leading outdoor and lifestyle magazine. l The partnership aims to firmly establish Merino woollen apparel as the ideal choice for sports and activewear. AWI has launched its largest sports and outdoor campaign in China so far, with retail partner Sanfo -- one of China's leading outdoor retail chains. The joint campaign, which aims to promote Australian Merino wool as a technical and high-performance fibre, was launched in three main parts: RETAIL TRAINING Sanfo staff seminars were delivered in first-tier Chinese cities, offering retail staff a knowledge and understanding of Merino wool's properties along with benefits to consumers and outdoor enthusiasts. POP-UP WOOL ARENA Set-up in Sanfo stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, pop-up Wool Arenas promoted Merino sportswear into China 21 OFF-FARM March 2013 BEYOND THE BALE Pop-up Wool Arenas were set-up in Sanfo stores, providing consumer education on a range of Merino wool products. AWI Key Account Manager for China, Lesley Zhang, gives a seminar to Sanfo staff, Sanfo retail club members and consumers on the unique benefits of Australian Merino wool. Merino wool products from KROCEUS, Lapland Adventure, ZEALWOOD and Spanish Buff. Consumers were educated on the Merino range, including base-layer, mid- layer and accessories. PRODUCT TESTING A selection of consumers and media editors were invited to undertake product testing of Merino wool garments on the mountain ski fields near Beijing. They were all asked to fill out a questionnaire with comments on the tested garments. To help boost the joint partnership with Sanfo, AWI has also teamed up with Outdoor Exposure -- China's leading outdoor lifestyle magazine, which has a monthly circulation of 400,000 as well as a renowned micro-blog. Two separate editions have featured articles on AWI, the Woolmark brand and its strong partnerships with the global supply chain, the benefits of MerinoPerformTM products and the importance of Merino wool in the Chinese outdoors market. AWI Sports/Outdoor global category manager Lars Ulvesund said this partnership was the first of its kind in China for the outdoor market. "Our objective for the Chinese market is to ensure the knowledge and understanding of Merino wool's excellent properties and benefits are brought to Chinese consumers," Mr Ulvesund said. "The best marketing for Merino wool is to get consumers to trial it, similar to the Beijing ski fields testing. We received very positive feedback from all who attended the ski trip, many of whom were trying Merino wool for the first time." AWI Key Account Manager for China, Lesley Zhang, said the initial response from consumers and the media had been overwhelming. "So we far we estimate up to two million people have been notified of this campaign by print and social media and Sanfo also sent a SMS to its members notifying them of the new Merino wool category in store," Ms Zhang said. "The partnership with Sanfo also created the opportunity for our licensee brands -- KROCEUS and LA -- to be stocked in Sanfo stores." KROCEUS also hosted the Wool Arena in one of its major stores, which attracted about 800,000 consumers and according to KROCEUS marketing manager Wen Min gave the outdoor company the confidence to continue producing Merino wool products. "We are grateful AWI gave us the confidence to promote Merino wool in the Chinese outdoor market and also for all the marketing support," Mrs Wen said. "We will increase Merino production next year and provide a variety of Merino products to consumers."