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Mulberry expands worldwide reach with distribution deal

Luxury brand and retailer Mulberry has inked distribution deals for South East Asia, China and Australia in a bid to continue its worldwide expansion plans.

The extended partnership with luxury retail company Club 21 could see the brand open flagship stores in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing with further expansion in Australia and China.

For the South East Asia region Mulberry has penned a deal with distribution partner Club 21 to extend its existing distribution agreement. Since beginning a partnership in 2005 Club 21 has opened 12 Mulberry stores in Beijing, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taipei, Bangkok and Sydney and generated wholesale sales for the group of £5.0m for the year ended 31 March 2011.    

The extended agreement has now expanded to include Australia and Vietnam and Club 21 will open flagship stores in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. It also envisages further store openings in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia.

The Mulberry board expects the Club 21 contribution to group sales to “increase significantly” over the coming years due to new store openings and increasing penetration of the Mulberry brand into these markets. The deal will run until June 30 2021.

Mulberry is also in advanced negotiations for a similar distribution agreement for the Japanese market. It has agreed heads of terms for a joint venture vehicle owned by Club 21 and Mammina, a subsidiary of department store group Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Limited.

With this deal Mulberry anticipates opening shop-in-shops in department stores as well as new flagship stores in Tokyo and Osaka.

Chairman and chief executive Godfrey Davis said: “The Asia Pacific region represents a significant growth opportunity for the Mulberry brand and these two agreements lay the foundations for an accelerated penetration of the region, especially China and Japan.”

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