ITOCHU Announces Plan to Start Handling Bear USA Brand Products

December 11, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has concluded a sublicensing agreement with FINE PLUS Co. (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Toshiya Ishikawa, CEO; hereinafter “FINE PLUS”) concerning Bear USA, a US brand in which ITOCHU holds master license rights in Japan. ITOCHU will launch casual wear products under the brand name in December 2012.

The Bear USA brand was hatched in New York in 1994 and earned note as a leader in street fashion trends in the United States. Under the concept of “to deliver unsurpassed quality, and style grounded by strong social conscience for the empowerment of our customers ” ” the brand appeals to the playful side of those who wear it and always presents ideas for new ways of living. Down jackets of the brand are core items that are faithful to the brand philosophy. Synonymous with the Bear USA brand, they rapidly achieved dominance in the US and around the world. In Japan, FINE PLUS began importing Bear USA products in 1995. These items became a big hit as customers formed lines at stores in anticipation of their arrival.
As it begins handling Bear USA, ITOCHU will launch a reproduced version of a down jacket that was released only in 1995 and since then has never been reproduced. The reproduction bears the logo that was used only for the 1995 version. It also faithfully reproduces the product specifications and even accessories of the 1995 version. Yet improvements on the original were made in aspects such as outer fabrics, print, and fit, which results in a higher-quality finish.

In the winter of 2012, ITOCHU will make its initial launch of men's and children's casual wear. It will make use of its extensive network in Japan and expand the lineup with a series of items such as ladieswear, bags, shoes, and watches. Additionally, based on its comprehensive marketing abilities, ITOCHU will expand its customer base by adding people in their 20s and 30s to those aged 40 and above, who were supporters of the brand in its early days, aiming to achieve retail sales of three billion yen over three years.
In the medium and long run, ITOCHU will aim to further increase the value of the Bear USA brand and expand its market, with a view to targeting the growing Asian market by leveraging its strong network, which includes accomplished local partners, in the Asian region.

FINE PLUS: Overview

Name of company FINE PLUS Co.
Headquarters Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Established February 1995
Representative Toshiya Ishikawa

Manufacture and retail of casual wear