In a change of tactics, casual wear retailer Giordano International plans to introduce its Bluestar Exchange brand into China. It will join the company's existing second-line mainland brand, Blue Navy, which is operated through its joint venture with China Resources Enterprise (CRE). Bluestar Exchange, which had been used in Hong Kong and other markets for years, was the joint venture's original choice. However, the venture learned the brand name had already been registered in the mainland. As a result, it decided on Blue Navy instead and launched clothing under the brand last year. But chairman Peter Lau Kwok-kuen yesterday said: 'I can now tell you we will be able to use Bluestar Exchange to do business [in the mainland].' He declined to say what procedures the company had gone through to be allowed to use the name. The performance of Blue Navy, which features a basic design and lower price than main brand Giordano, had been 'not that exciting' since last year's launch, Mr Lau said. He said some tactical errors might have been committed in promoting the brand in the mainland. Instead of specifying what the errors were, Mr Lau said: 'The biggest issue in China is that the country is such a vast marketplace, [in which] you really have different cultures and different economic stages. 'So you cannot look at China as one market, but have to be very flexible in how you address the different markets, such as northern, southern, central and eastern China.' For this reason, Bluestar Exchange would be introduced to further test the market. Bluestar Exchange was expected to join Blue Navy under the umbrella of the CRE joint venture, Mr Lau said. He denied rumours that Giordano and CRE had a serious disagreement on the joint venture's operation. 'We may have a difference on some marketing tactics, but it definitely is not a fundamental one,' Mr Lau said. Apart from running Blue Navy through the joint venture, Giordano operates more than 400 mainland outlets under its main brand. Mr Lau said the positions for the three brands would be well differentiated by separate marketing teams. Some analysts expected Bluestar Exchange would be slotted in between Blue Navy and Giordano. A geographical segmentation was also expected to be applied.