John Smedley eyes Japan expansion with new partnership

British knitwear brand John Smedley is targeting new stores in Japan and an expansion of its wholesale operations there as it announces a new partnership with a local clothing company.


Photo: John Smedley

The premium brand has joined forces with Bigi Group, owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co, in a retail and distribution deal that will help it grow its presence in the country. It already operates five retail stores in Japan.

Bigi will showcase John Smedley’s collection at its new showroom, explore store opening opportunities and help it develop a range of e-commerce and digital marketing strategies to promote it across the region, reported BQ Live.

Ian Maclean, managing director at John Smedley, commented: “With our history of selling in Japan going back over 100 years, John Smedley is held in the highest regard by discerning Japanese consumers for the quality of our fine knitwear.

“Our goal is to build on this premier position and better present our very best products in the market through considered expansion.

“The investments planned by ourselves and our new partners will help to secure a great future for the John Smedley brand in Japan. Mitsui and the Bigi Group are showing a huge vote of confidence in our UK manufacturing.”

John Smedley is the oldest manufacturing factory in the world, creating high quality knitwear made in Britain and designed to last. The company has stores in Mayfair and St James’s, London and is stocked in luxury department stores including Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

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