Tokyo and Osaka fashion: Stella McCartney takes full control of distribution in Japan

Tokyo and Osaka fashion: Stella McCartney takes full control of distribution in Japan

Sarah Deschamps and Kanako Itamae

Modern Tokyo Times

Stella McCartney first opened a flagship store in the adorable and elegant district of Aoyama in 2008. Since this period the expansion of Stella McCartney in Japan took a conservative option which did its purpose in establishing this fashion company in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. However, it now appears to be the right time for this company to take control of its distribution in Japan in order to act on its consolidation into the Japanese market.

The announcement is not very surprising when you look at the details because this move is backed by continuity. This applies to the fact that the new president of Stella McCartney Japan will be Kazuyuki Ozawa. Therefore, with Unit and Guest being the exclusive distribution partner responsible for the distribution of Stella McCartney in Japan for five years prior to this announcement, it is clear that continuity is the order of the day. After all, Kazuyuki Ozawa worked for Unit and Guest and clearly the new control of distribution by Stella McCartney is in safe keeping based on familiarity and other important areas.

Kazuyuki Ozawa will report to the president and chief executive officer of Stella McCartney who is Frederick Lukoff. Another conservative aspect of Stella McCartney taking control of distribution in Japan is that all products will continue to be imported from Europe. Also, the headquarters of Stella McCartney in trendy Shibuya in Tokyo will be the center of all activity related to business, marketing, public relations, commercial areas, and all related areas to the business of this exquisite company.

Stella McCartney is therefore following a very conservative approach whereby continuity is the central theme. The brand of Stella McCartney is internationally famous and in Japan this company caters for ready-to-wear clothes, kids’ collections, lingerie, and accessories. Not surprisingly Tokyo is the main base of this company in Japan but Stella McCartney is also established in Osaka and Nagoya. The Osaka market is undervalued in Europe and North America despite the enormous size of the purchasing power of this part of Japan and the same applies to the huge population of Osaka.

Aoyama in Tokyo was chosen to be the flagship base of Stella McCartney in 2008 because this district is blessed with the crème de la crème of Japanese and international boutiques. The most powerful names in Japan, Europe, and North America, can be found in upmarket Aoyama along with adorable architecture which highlights the wealth of this part of Tokyo. Since then, Stella McCartney gradually expanded and shops-in-shop sell this brand in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

In Tokyo the shops-in-shop were carefully selected and this applies to utilizing famous Japanese department stores. Therefore, in Ginza, which is a very famous part of Tokyo and which is noted for exquisite fashion, Stella McCartney selected Mitsukoshi and Matsuya respectively. The other outlet in Tokyo is at Isetan in Shinjuku and this company, like the two previously mentioned department stores of Mitsukoshi and Matsuya, is highly respected and known for amazing companies being located in their department stores throughout Japan.

The other two shops-in-shop are located in Osaka and Nagoya. Like previously mentioned, the Osaka fashion scene is extremely powerful and this mega-city can’t be underestimated internationally. Stella McCartney therefore chose Hankyu Department Store to be the base in Osaka. Once more every move by Stella McCartney is extremely conservative because Hankyu is blessed with enormous pulling power. In Nagoya another famous store called Takashimaya was selected to sell the kids collection of Stella McCartney.

Therefore, the Shibuya headquarters in this powerful fashion district in Tokyo sums up the Stella McCartney philosophy in Japan. This applies to opening a flagship store and shops-in-shop stores within famous fashion districts. Apart from the flagship store in Aoyama, all shops-in shop outlets have been opened in exquisite Japanese department stores. Given this, while Stella McCartney may now be in control of distribution it is clear that the hiring of Kazuyuki Ozawa is based on continuity and the conservative business nature of this company within Japan.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

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