Cath Kidston eyes up Japanese expansion

London - British lifestyle brand Cath Kidston has plans to make it big in Japan, as well as South Korea and Thailand while scaling back on its physical presence in China.

Cath Kidston aims to open an additional 10 stores in Japan by the end of the financial year, bringing its total store count to 40. Over the next three years, CEO Kenny Wilson hopes to open up to 30 new stores as strong demand for the brand's "kawaii" hand-printed accessories and homeware continues to soar in the country. "Japan is obviously our most important market in Asia," said Wilson in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review. After carrying out independent studies, the brand hopes to operate 50 to 60 stores in the country.

The lifestyle label aims to open new stores in popular shopping districts such as Tokyo's Shibuya and Shinjuku shopping areas, as well as other leading cities like Chia and Shizuoka. In addition to strengthening its physical store presence in Japan, Cath Kidston also plans on further developing its online store to create a seamless shopping experience for consumers.

Cath Kidston has been growing approximately 20 percent on average across Asia-Pacific, focusing on Japan, South Korea, and Thailand added Wilson. However, China has been a more difficult market for the brand, which has been migration its supply chain away from the region. The British label shut a limited number of stores in China, as although they were profitable, they were not generating sufficient income for the brand. "We made a very conscious decision to reduce the number of stores we had in China," said Wilson.

Nevertheless, the country remains an important market for Cath Kidston, as the brand aims to focus on growing its e-commerce in China.

Photo: Cath Kidston x MIckey Mouse, website


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