Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 354, March 1999

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American Companies in Japan


Beginning this fall, DESCENTE, LTD. will market a line of STARTER SPORTSWEAR, INC. clothing targeted at youth. The New Haven, Connecticut company has licensing rights to the logos associated with the North American professional baseball, basketball, football and ice hockey leagues. It gave master Japanese licensee ITOCHU CORP. the go-ahead to allow Descente, the country's top sportswear supplier, to launch this business. About 20 percent of the uniforms, shirts, training clothes and other products marketed by Descente will be imported; the rest will be made locally. The Starter Sportswear line will be available at an estimated 350 outlets, including department stores and sporting goods shops.

The subsidiary of Allston, Massachusetts-based NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC SHOE INC. has started production of a top-of-the-line running shoe, the COMP700, as well as the COMP151. Both shoes were developed specifically for the local market. The company expects to sell 10,000 pairs a year combined of the $125 COMP700 and the $110 COMP151. Marketing of these products will be focused on 100 to 150 sporting goods stores and other outlets that sell running products.

An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa

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