Luxury British fashion brand Mulberry has announced an extension to its Asian distribution agreement today which will see the brand enter the Japanese market for the first time.
Mulberry has been working with partner Club 21 since 1995, distributing goods into China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and this new deal will now see the trader work with the Asian firm until June 2021.
New flagship stores are set to be opened by the retailer in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing with other store openings planned across the region.
Vietnam and Australia are two new territories for Club 21 to distribute the Mulberry brand in as part of the extended deal and, in Japan, a joint venture will see Mulberry take up concession space in one of the country’s biggest department store chains IMH.
Godfrey Davis, Chairman and CEO of Mulberry, commented: “The Asia Pacific region represents a significant growth opportunity for the Mulberry brand and these two agreements lay the foundations for an accelerated penetration of the region, especially China and Japan.”
Western luxury goods have become increasingly popular in the Far East and rival fashion firms such as Burberry have also boosted their presence in these markets in recent times.
Since 2005 Mulberry has opened 12 stores across the region, in Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok and Sydney, and in the last financial year ending March 31st 2011, wholesale revenues for Mulberry in Asia totalled £5 million.
Although its Japanese operation will begin with ‘shops within shops’ at IMH stores, the group plans to open flagships in Tokyo and Osaka in due course.