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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dude! Hollister is Totally Heading to Japan!

Setting for surf across the Pacific...
Yeah, that's right! The introduction of Hollister into the Japanese market has always been imminent considering the popularity of the SoCal-inspired brand across various leading international markets. And as recently disclosed by Mike Jeffries (Chairman & CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch) in the earnings call for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2012, the Company is now sure about the near-future arrival of the Hollister brand in the Land of the Rising Sun!

This is a pretty interesting revelation in terms of expansion of the Hollister brand in Asia and, more importantly, considering the future of A&F's business operations in Japan (日本). Pre-2010, you could have assumed that Japan would have been the first place in which Hollister would have arrived in Asia. As it turned out, the Company chose to open the first Hollister in the region in Hong Kong, China. Why? Because of the great potential that China now offers in the 2010s for aspirational retailers amid the nation's ever growing market driven by consumers reaching influence on an ever increasing global scale. Meanwhile, Japan – although still the richest nation in the region and the world's third biggest economy – has been experiencing an economic recovery and has been a trying market for Abercrombie & Fitch since the Company opened its A&F flagships in Tokyo (東京) (2009) and Fukuoka (福岡市) (2010). The Fukuoka location was demoted to outlet store status by the beginning of 2012, and it is expected to close when the Company leases the space to another business. And although the deal for A&F Ginza (銀座), in Tokyo, is now considered to have been not particularly economic, the Company is making things work on that location: it is confident that it understands the Japanese market far better than previously thought, and it is determined to push success in Japan...

As has been typical in its international expansion operations across various markets, the Company will continue to manage its one A&F Ginza flagship while carefully opening mall-based Hollister shops throughout Japan in the near-future. This is very much like its model in the United Kingdom in which there is its one A&F London flagship, but multiple Hollister, and now Gilly Hicks, locations. As of now, a similar model is also found in Italy, France, Spain, and Brussels in which each nation has one A&F Flagship, but numerous HCo shops.

But how awesome is that?! Hollister to finally open in Japan! There is really no known year when Southern California cool will crash its waves on Japan, but, of course, you know The Sitch on Fitch will keep you in the know, fellow Dudes and Bettys!

Stay FIERCE!