ITOCHU Announces Introduction of VIVA HEART in China

June 7, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has concluded an agreement with Grip International Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Kobe, Hyogo; Takaharu Kuwata, President ; hereinafter “Grip International”), which sells VIVA HEART brand golf attire, and The Beauty Group International Ltd. (headquartered in the Cayman Islands; Raymond Liu, Chairman & CEO; hereinafter “The Beauty Group”) of Hong Kong for jointly establishing a VIVA HEART sales company in Hong Kong.

Since its foundation in 2001, Grip International has engaged in a range of operations including marketing of original and import brands, licensing, and the development of stores in the Japanese golf attire market under the philosophy, “A New Style for Golf.” VIVA HEART, which Grip International began selling in the spring of 2004, garnered attention as a brand with a new type of golf attire by introducing unique and innovative ideas, including use of vivid pink. VIVA HEART is widely known as a brand offering combinations of traditional, basic items, such as polo shirts and vests, which are high-quality, functional, practical, cheerful and stylish golf attire that always expresses originality and enjoyment in its colors and details. Grip International has contracted with a professional golfer Ms.Chie Arimura for wearing VIVA HEART clothing since her debut in Japan.

In Hong Kong, The Beauty Group has developed a range of businesses for daily living, including the sale of watches and clocks, apparel, and cosmetics, and the management of high-class beauty salons. In the retail business in China, it has built a community-based distribution network and developed operations for distributing products and brands whose features are ideally suited to the needs of local consumers. The Beauty Group takes advantage of its sales and marketing abilities not only in Beijing and Shanghai but also in provincial cities such as Chengdu, Chongqing, and Wuhan.

ITOCHU positions China as its priority area and has been accelerating the development of the brand business, where it has an advantage, in global markets including China. We believe that demand for golf attire will increase in the Chinese golf market, which is expected to expand given the country’s high economic growth. We have found a new possibility for the stylish Japanese VIVA HEART brand in the Chinese market and have decided to sell it there.

We will also begin licensing of VIVA HEART SPORTS, a ladies’ casual wear line. This will be developed as a casual brand for young women, derived from the golf attire brand. It is based on the VIVA HEART concept and will use that brand’s colors. ITOCHU will capitalize on its expertise in the brand business and excellent production background to develop the new brand, and The Beauty Group will apply its expertise as a retailer.

The three companies will use their strengths to seek to permeate the VIVA HEART brand in the Chinese market and strengthen the brand’s value.

Opening of 10 outlets is planned from the autumn and winter 2012 season. We expect this number to rise to 120 in five years and that sales at these stores will be \4 billion per year.

=Reference= Retail price range
VIVA HEART wear RMB800~2,700, accessory RMB150~1,200, bag RMB750~2,700
VIVA HEART SPORTS wear RMB500~4,000, accessory RMB100~1,300

Profile of Grip International Co., Ltd.

Name Grip International Co., Ltd.
Head office

4-2-2 Kumoidori, Chuo-ku, Kobe

Representative Takaharu Kuwata
Established May 2001

2.88 billion yen (fiscal year ended March 2011)

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Profile of The Beauty Group International Ltd.

Name The Beauty Group International Ltd.
Head office

Offshore Incorporations (Cayman) Limited

Scotia Centre, 4/F, P.O. Box 2804, George Town

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Dr. Raymond Liu

Established 2008
Sales HK$764,309,000 (fiscal year ended March 2011)

Garment retailer

Attire for spring and summer 2012