ITOCHU Announces Acquisition of Trademark for SKINS Brand and Business Development

April 16, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that Descente Ltd. (headquartered in Osaka City, Osaka: Etsuro Nakanishi, President; hereinafter “DESCENTE”) and ITOCHU have acquired the trademark for five regions in Asia (Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) for the compression wear SKINS brand that belongs to SKINS Global Holding AG and its subsidiaries (hereinafter, the “SKINS Group”).
In addition, ITOCHU concluded a mutually exclusive supply and distribution agreement with the SKINS Group in the aforementioned five regions. Under the agreement, DESCENTE and its subsidiaries (hereinafter, the “DESCENTE Group”) will start sales of SKINS brand products in the above five regions as the comprehensive sales agent of the compression wear SKINS brand products manufactured by the SKINS Group.
The initial sales will be launched for the 2012 fall-winter season in South Korea, followed by sales in Japan and Hong Kong in the 2013 spring-summer season, and sequentially thereafter in the other regions. Manufacturing and sales of the non-compression SKINS brand products are also being considered. The five-year sales target (fiscal year 2017) for all the five regions is 10 billion yen (based on retail prices).

The SKINS brand originated in 1996 in Australia, a country well-known for its cutting-edge sports medicine. “Dynamic gradient compression,” which applies optimal and accurate pressure to the body during a workout is the SKINS brand’s proprietary cutting-edge technology. It is the only compression underwear approved as such by the Australian Physiotherapy Association(*). Development of the product took as long as six years before completion. The products have garnered overwhelming support from high-performance athletes. They are also popular from the perspective of a healthy life style in diverse settings. They are sold at around 5,500 stores in about 30 countries, mainly in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.

  • *) Australian Physiotherapy Association: Established in 1906; represents around 11,000 physiotherapists; the association studies rehabilitation, injury prevention, etc.

The DESCENTE Group’s vision is to be recognized as a leading sporting company in Asia by formulating a unique marketing strategy for each of its brands. The Group aims to grow and expand further through its three core business areas: athletic, golf, and outdoor goods. The Group intends to utilize the SKINS brand as the strategic brand aimed at expanding sales in its all business domains not only in Japan but in the wider Asian region.

ITOCHU will support the logistic aspects of the DESCENTE Group’s sales of the SKINS brand products in the five Asian regions, and support the SKINS Group by helping to devise an efficient and global business scheme in production and logistics. ITOCHU will eagerly launch the world view that the SKINS brand exemplifies by utilizing its global network and work toward enhancing the value of the brand and expanding the handling of the product in the five Asia regions.