PLBY Group, the owner of the Playboy brand, has signed a deal with Charactopia Licensing, a Fung Retailing brand management company, to enter the Chinese market with the launch of a joint venture, Playboy China.
The joint venture, valued at 250 million US dollars, will jointly own and operate the Playboy branded consumer products business in parts of the China market, including mainland China.
Playboy China will focus on “reinvigorating all aspects of the China-market Playboy apparel business,” including online and offline retail strategies, product design and assortment, and brand marketing to its multi-generational audience.
The Shanghai-based team have been tasked with building on Playboy’s current roster of licensees and online storefronts by adding new partners and growing through new product categories yet to be developed in China with the Playboy brand.
The joint venture will also “work closely” with the Playboy apparel team in the US “to ensure a unified presentation and positioning for the Playboy brand globally”.
Playboy inks joint venture in China
Ben Kohn, chief executive of PLBY Group, said in a statement: “The Playboy China joint venture continues PLBY’s evolution from a traditional licensing model to a selectively owned and operated business model to maximise the value of the Playboy brand across our businesses.
“Through this joint venture, the Playboy business in China will benefit from a best-in-class operating team with Charactopia, and from the relationship with the Fung Group.”
Brian Lee, executive director of Fung Retailing, added: “With the foundation Playboy has built in China through licensing, combined with its brand activation and product design connecting Playboy with a new generation of consumers around the world, now is the right time for an in-country operations team here in China.
“With this new structure and our experienced on-the-ground operating team, the Playboy business is poised for accelerated growth across product and lifestyle categories in this key market.”