The Matlock-headquartered knitwear brand has signed a retail and distribution deal with Japanese clothing company Bigi Group to expand its operations abroad.
Bigi Group, which is owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., will display John Smedley at its new showroom, while also investing in store openings “best suited to the brand”.
The Japanese retailer will also focus on a range of ecommerce and digital marketing strategies to promote the premium British brand across the region.
John Smedley already owns and operates five retail stores in the country.
Ian Maclean, managing director at John Smedley, said of the new partnership: “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.”
In the UK John Smedley is stocked at stores including Harrods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and operates standalone stores at Mayfair and St James’s in London.
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