Business Development Begins for AVIA, a US Fitness and Running Shoe Brand, and RYKA, a US Running Shoe Brand for Women

August 4, 2010

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”), Descente Ltd., and Ben-General Corporation, a member of the Descente Group, have announced that they will begin developing a business involving leading shoe brands. The companies will begin building sales of the fitness and running shoe brand AVIA and the women’s running shoe brand RYKA, starting in the spring and summer of 2011. ITOCHU has an exclusive import and sales contract for Japan and Korea with American Sporting Goods Corporation (California, U.S.A.), which owns both the AVIA and RYKA brands, and Descente Ltd. and Ben-General Corporation will market the shoes in Japan as general sales agencies under the contract.

AVIA was founded in 1979, when its founder Jerry Stubblefield developed high-performance athletic footwear in the running category based on a unique “Cantilever sole.” The company continued to develop shoes based on ergonomics principles, and since 2008, as an official sponsor of USA Triathlon (USAT), it has been involved in the development of ultra lightweight running shoes with high stability and shock-absorbing qualities, as well as high breathability. AVIA enjoys strong support by leading professional athletes, especially for its fitness shoe model A6812w, designed for fitness, running, aqua exercise, and other activities. In Japan, the AVIA brand began developing a presence through word of mouth, as Japanese trainers returning from the United States in the 1980s praised its high functionality and reliability. Sales in Japan commenced soon after. Especially in the fitness field, AVIA is now vying to be the number one brand. AVI-MOTION, a toning shoe featuring rounded soles that was launched in 2009, is also enjoying sales growth on the strength of its excellent reputation.
Descente Group has set athletics, golf, and outdoors activities as its priority business domains in its medium-term management plan, targeting sales of 88 billion yen for the March 2013 fiscal term, and aiming for continued growth and expansion. With the introduction of AVIA brand, it plans to boost its sales in the fitness market of the athletic business.

ITOCHU plans to acquire the master licensing right for the AVIA brand for both Japan and Korea. It will embark on licensing of all categories, including shoes, and together with the synergies of imported shoes, will be strongly promoting the AVIA brand. In 2011, the initial year for both brands, Ben-General will be the general sales agency in Japan for sales. The sales target is 1 billion yen, on a retail basis, in five years time (the 2016 season).


Outline of product in photo
Product: A6812w 
Price: 13,440JPY (incl. tax)
Color: SXH
Size: 22.5 cm - 25.0 cm

About the AVIA brand

Outline of the Brand

In 1979, founder Jerry Stubblefield began manufacturing and selling performance athletic footwear featuring his invention, the Cantilever sole, which has a unique and revolutionary function. The footwear was marketed in the running category from Portland, Oregon, USA.
The shoes, which excel in design and functionality and which are led by the A6676w, earned high marks with trainers in the United States and rose to the top share in fitness shoes. Now, thirty years later, AVIA sells sports shoes not only for fitness but also for running, triathlons, and many other activities. The brand is using for racing and training by top athletes and many sports fans. In the United States, AVIA is actively involved in triathlons, and has supported the sport as the official sponsor of the USA Triathlon (USAT) since 2008.

What is a Cantilever?


A system to soften the impact on the feet. The concave sole spreads when the foot hits the ground, absorbing the impact.
Creates stability by expanding the area of the shoe that comes in contract with the ground.

Price range

9,450 JPY(incl. tax) - 13,650JPY (incl. tax)

Typical product


Product: 6676w 
Price: 13,650JPY (incl. tax)
Size: 22.5 cm - 25.0 cm
Color: SHC


Product: A626w 
Price: 12,600JPY (incl. tax)
Size: 22.5 cm - 25.0 cm
Color: WSP BS


※Price, size, color: To be decided