Announcement Regarding the Business Alliance with French Outdoor Brand “Lafuma”
On June 22, 2012, World Co., Ltd. (headquarters: Kobe, Japan; President: Hidezo Terai) and Lafuma S.A. (headquarters: Anneyron, France; President and CEO: Philippe Joffard) agreed to a business alliance for sales of the French outdoor brand “Lafuma” in the Japanese market.
Founded in 1930, Lafuma S.A. is a leading European maker of outdoor and sporting goods with a comprehensive product selection and several brands including “Lafuma” and “Millet.” Its “Lafuma” brand, which encompasses outdoor furniture and sportswear with an established reputation for reliability, is sold in 26 countries. Reflecting the company’s unflagging pursuit of functionality and innovation over its 80-plus-year history, this brand continues to win the hearts of a broad range of users including professional climbers and trail runners, camping and hiking enthusiasts, and travelers.
In 2002, Lafuma S.A. established a 100%-owned subsidiary, Lafuma Millet K.K. (hereafter LMKK), and made a full-scale entry into the Japanese market. The company has been steadily establishing itself as an outdoor brand and winning fans through directly managed stores, specialty shops for sporting goods and mountaineering products, and department stores.
Reason for the business alliance
In the Japanese sports market, interest in outdoor sports has been growing every year and companies have been aggressively developing their branding strategies. These are creating the growing need for products that are not only truly functional but also fashionable.
Apparel constitutes as much as 65% of “Lafuma” brand sales. Realizing that enhancing precision in the planning and development of apparel products is important to achieve further growth for the brand, LMKK sought a partner with extensive knowledge of apparel planning, development and store operations in Japan. Last year, World established the TWB(Total Well-Being)Management Dept. with a mission to create a lifestyle business centered on sporting goods, and in the spring launched two brands: “i.e.” and “anima.” Having an outdoor category of sporting goods is essential to the expansion of our sports lifestyle business. The “Lafuma” brand is ideal because it matches the outdoor image that World wants to project. Since World can perform functions that “Lafuma” needs, and both companies share the same goals, we decided to form a business alliance.
Respective roles of LMKK and World
Lafuma S.A. will continue to sell “Lafuma” brand gear such as backpacks, shoes and furniture through LMKK. World will be responsible for planning and sales of licensed apparel products that will be released in Japan in the spring and summer of 2013, sales of imported products, and operations at directly managed stores that sell these products. LMKK and World will collaborate on marketing with a focus on PR activities for the brand.
Lafuma S.A.’s future development in Japan
Through LMKK, Lafuma S.A. will continue to actively promote “Lafuma” brand backpacks, shoes and furniture. In addition, LMKK will pursue further development and business expansion of the “Millet” brand, which has been well established in Japan for over three decades as an expert mountaineering brand.
“Lafuma” for spring and summer 2013
“Lafuma” is an authentic outdoor brand for nature lovers that offers designs and fashions with a touch of French esprit.
|(1) Name||Lafuma S.A.|
|(2) Main business||Producing a comprehensive selection of outdoor and sporting goods and managing five leading brands: outdoor brand “Lafuma,” mountaineering brand “Millet,” mountain and ski brand “Eider,” board sports brand “Oxbow” and country lifestyle brand “Le Chameau”|
|(4) Main office||6 rue Victor Lafuma, 26140 Anneyron, France|
|(5) Representative||Philippe Joffard|
|(6) Capital||€28 million|
|(7) Number of employees||300 (Lafuma S.A.), 1,928 (Lafuma Group)|
Lafuma Millet K.K.
|(1) Name||Lafuma Millet K.K.|
|(2) Main business||Design, manufacturing, sales and export/import of outdoor products|
|(3) Established||September 12, 2002|
|(4) Main office||2-10-11 Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan|
|(5) Representative||Philippe Joffard|
|(6) Capital||¥10 million|
|(7) Number of employees||78 (as of May 31, 2012)|
World Co., Ltd.
|(1) Name||World Co., Ltd.|
|(2) Main business||Planning and sales of clothing for women, men and children, and other products|
|(3) Established||January 13, 1959|
|(4) Main office||8-1, 6-Chome, Minatojima-Nakamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-8585|
|(5) Representative||Hidezo Terai|
|(6) Capital||¥18.0 billion|
|(7) Number of employees||2,234 (as of March 31, 2012)|