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No. 361, October 1999

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American Companies in Japan


CUTTER & BUCK, a Seattle manufacturer of golf and business casual apparel, signed an exclusive distribution pact with SEIBU DEPARTMENT STORES LTD. Effective immediately, seven of the retailer's top-selling stores will carry Cutter & Buck's upscale men's golf sportswear. All 22 Seibu stores are scheduled to stock the brand in 2000. The partners also plan to introduce a line of women's golf apparel. Although the time frame is uncertain, Seibu will open a freestanding Cutter & Buck store in the Aurora Mall at Higashi Totsuka, near Yokohama.

The Joe Boxer brand of underwear for fashion-con-scious young men will be available in Japan before yearend. San Francisco's BOXER HOLDINGS, INC. licensed manufacturing and marketing rights to the line to ITOCHU CORP., which turned around and sublicensed them to FUKUSUKE CORP. The long-estab-lished Osaka maker of socks and underwear expects the 70 department stores and the 30 specialty shops that initially will carry Joe Boxer products to generate retail sales of $1.9 million in the first year. Targeted at men between 18 and 26 years old, the merchandise will include knit boxer shorts priced at $16.65, cotton boxer shorts listing between $13.90 and $18.50 and T-shirts in the $13.90 to $25.90 price range.

With input from people who subscribe to a parenting magazine published by RECRUIT CO., LTD., the subsidiary of TOYS "R" US INC. is introducing a line of original products at stores that have Babies "R" Us sections. Six products, including a $25.90 blanket that attaches to a stroller and a $32.40 diaper bag designed specifically for vehicles, already are stocked by 17 Toys "R" Us outlets. By next April, the company plans to have 20 of its own products in its stores.

An exchange rate of ¥108=$1.00 was used in this report.

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