Itochu Shoji is master licensee for a myriad of brands, but some are more successful than others. One of its biggest hits in the last few years has been Lanvin, which it signed in 2002 and which it has built up from a ¥15 billion a year business to ¥37 billion largely through a successful licensed second line, Lanvin en Bleu.
Lanvin Japan increased sales by 9.8% in calendar year 2013, reaching a record ¥37 billion in sales of both imported and licensed product, up from ¥28 billion five years ago. Managed under a master license by Itochu Shoji, Lanvin was expected to hit sales of ¥40 billion through FY2015, but is now likely to reach the target this year. Sales of imported lines, which are distributed by Coronet, rose 30% to ¥3.2 billion, and licensed merchandise reached ¥33.7 billion, up 10%.
Among licensed product, accessories and bags had the strongest performance. In apparel the licensed line Lanvin en Bleu showed strong growth with womenswear sublicensee Lamer having the best result, up 18%, followed by women’s footwear licensee Moda Clea, up 14% and 10.5% for Joix in menswear. The best performing line was Lanvin Collection; bags & accessories licensee Elite increased Lanvin Collection sales by 54%, and other licensees are also performing well. Moda Clea boosted shoe sales by 36%, and Gunze legwear by 37%. Descente also made progress in building sales for Lanvin Sport, up 17% thanks to new stores.
As well as growth through existing stores and licensees, Itochu continues to add new licensees for Lanvin en Bleu. It recently signed Moonbat for umbrellas, Aurora for scarves and Alphablanca for wedding dresses. As of the end of the year there were 23 sublicensees, but Itochu also just signed Kuipo to develop a new line of women’s handbags for Lanvin en Bleu, bringing the total to 24. This year it also plans to sign a license for men’s bags for Lanvin en Bleu.
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