Wacoal to acquire American lingerie brand Lively
Japanese underwear manufacturer Wacoal Holdings Corp has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. lingerie company Intimates Online, Inc., which operates the Lively brand, for $85 million (approximately 9.2 billion yen) as it looks to boost its growth in the region.
In line with the plans presented by Wacoal last month, the purchase of all issued and outstanding shares of Intimates Online is part of a wider drive to accelerate the company’s overseas expansion.
The Kyoto-based group expects to experience particularly high growth in the U.S. and sees Lively as a particularly strategic acquisition in the market, as a digitally native vertical brand in step with changing industry trends.
In particular, Wacoal has highlighted the company’s use of e-commerce as its main distribution channel, its strong social media presence and its brand ambassador program, as well as its philosophy of “support[ing] independent women and their activities through business activities,” as elements that have helped it to gain traction with “millennials against the background of diversifying preferences among consumers.”
And it’s with precisely this millennial market that Wacoal – whose current core customer is generally older – is keen to build bridges as it shoots for accelerated growth stateside. The company is also hoping to take advantage of Lively’s experience in e-commerce and digital marketing.
In return, the American brand will benefit from being able to use its new parent company’s design and manufacturing capabilities, as well as its business infrastructure, with Wacoal hinting that the Lively label could expand its business internationally in the future.
Intimates Online was founded by Michelle Cordeiro Grant in 2015 and currently runs stores in New York and Chicago, as well as its e-commerce platform. In fiscal 2018 the company’s sales almost doubled to $11.49 million, while its net loss totaled $3,682,000.
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