Premium knitwear brand John Smedley has signed a retail and distribution deal with clothing company Bigi Group, to expand its bricks-and-mortar and wholesale Japanese operations.
Bigi Group is owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co.
Bigi will showcase John Smedley at its new showroom, as well as invest in store openings “best suited to the brand”. It will also focus on ecommerce and digital marketing strategies in the region.
In Japan, John Smedley already currently operates and owns five retail stores.
Ian Maclean, managing director at John Smedley, said: “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 standalones at Mayfair and St James’s in London, as well as a website.