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Sunspel pens deal to enter Japan

British heritage brand Sunspel has signed a deal with Japanese retail and wholesale company Anglobal to open up to five stores in the country over the next five years, starting with a flagship in Tokyo in early 2016.

Sunspel’s chief executive and co-owner Nicholas Brooke told Drapers the expansion would not be “aggressive”, but added: “There’s opportunity to grow beyond five stores.”

The deal will also see Sunspel’s 20 Japanese wholesale accounts, which currently make up 10% of sales, brought under Anglobal’s control from spring 16.

Sunspel was founded in 1860 and is based in Long Eaton near Nottingham. It is primarily a men’s underwear and basics brand, but relaunched its womenswear offering in 2011, six years after it was acquired by Brooke and his business partner Dominic Hazlehurst, who is a non-executive director.

Sunspel has 92 UK accounts and four stores in London. It posted sales of more than £7.6m last year.

Anglobal, which is part of Japanese womenswear manufacturer TSI Holdings, also owns a majority stake in British brand Margaret Howell.

Brooke said: “We chose Anglobal because it is very focused on quality, which is part of our DNA. We’re not joining a business with a huge amount of brands so we know they will really focus on us. It’s not the case that they’re going to try something and if it doesn’t work they can just move on to the next one.”



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