ITOCHU Announces Joint Ownership of U.S. Brand Penfield’s Trademark

March 1, 2017

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has decided to jointly hold ITOCHU-owned trademark rights of the U.S. outdoor fashion brand Penfield in Japan and three other regions in Asia (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) together with Yamato International Inc. (headquartered in Ota-ku, Tokyo; Tomoki Hannya, President & Representative Director; hereinafter “Yamato International”). It will collaborate to further develop of the Penfield brand.

Founded in Hudson, the United States, in 1975, the Penfield brand draws on the concept of pursuing excellence in fashion and function. Since its early days, the brand has continuously offered progressive products, such as polar fleece garments developed by Malden Mills. It develops products with a sophisticated sense of style while maintaining outstanding functionality, with a solid position in the outdoor fashion markets not only in the United States, but also all over the world.

Since ITOCHU acquired the trademark right to the Penfield brand in 2012, it has rolled out and expanded the brand’s business in Japan and the other regions in Asia. In the 2014 fall/winter season, it launched Penfield’s new high-end line, Black Label, accelerating multifaceted development to further enhance the brand’s value.

Yamato International has operated an outdoor fashion brand for a long time. Meanwhile, it has also established its licensing business in the Japanese market, working on the improvement of brand value and business expansion. In its Medium-Term Structural Reform Plan announced last year, Yamato International set forth the slogan, “Transform from Hard to Soft,” promoting the establishment of a branding-type business that can compete in the future.

In this context, both parties have agreed to collaborate due to their corresponding strategies; ITOCHU aims to expand its retail business, including e-commerce of the Penfield brand in Japan and the other regions in Asia, while Yamato International strives for further expansion of a branding-type business by acquiring new brand trademarks.

ITOCHU will employ Yamato International’s know-how in brand management and product development to offer unrivalled practical and functional products that are ideally modern. It will also establish a platform for e-commerce to strengthen branding with web marketing from spring and summer 2017. In Japan, ITOCHU will expand its business mainly by opening a unit store with a new showroom function, in addition to the current sales channels, such as select shops and specialty shops. Moreover, it will aim to increase the brand value of Penfield and expand its business in Asia by utilizing its global network and great production capabilities mostly in Asia, as well as the experience and know-how of both companies in brand businesses.

Company Overview

Name Yamato International Inc.
Representative Tomoki Hannya
Head Office Head office in Osaka 1-3-1 Morikawachi Nishi, Higashiosaka, Osaka
Head office in Tokyo 5-1-1 Heiwajima, Ota-ku, Tokyo      
Capital 4,917 million yen (as of August 31, 2016)
Business Planning, manufacturing, and sale of casual wear and other apparel products