Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 347, August 1998

Issue Index

American Companies in Japan


Uniform manufacturer CINTAS CORP. gave ITOCHU CORP. exclusive rights to market three styles of uniforms under the Cintas name in Japan. The trader turned around and named COCOS NOBUOKA CO., LTD. of Hiroshima prefecture to form a nationwide distribution network. The 38 agents already enlisted expect to sell $2.1 million worth of Cintas uniforms in the first year.

Two more American companies have tapped Japan's largest manufacturer of sportswear to handle their products. UMBRO INTERNATIONAL of Greenville, South Carolina has given DESCENTE, LTD. rights to manufacture worldwide its Umbro clothing, footwear and accessory lines and to market in Japan products made locally as well as imported. The Osaka- headquartered company will launch the Umbro brand with products for the spring/summer 1999 season. It expects to introduce roughly 250 clothing items, 25 types of shoes and 50 or so accessories, all of which will be wholly or mostly made locally. Descente is looking for sales of $17.7 million the first year the Umbro products are on the market and double that in 2000.

The manufacturer of the Foot-Joy line of golf shoes and golf gloves, the Titleist Foot-Joy Worldwide division of ACUSHNET CO., selected DESCENTE, LTD. to import and market its products under a contract that runs through 2003. Next January, the Japanese company plans to introduce 14 styles of golf shoes and five types of gloves at 700 or so outlets, including department stores and golf specialty shops. It projects first- year sales of 80,000 pairs of shoes, with volume expanding to 250,000 pairs in 2003.

An exchange rate of ¥141=$1.00 was used in this report.

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