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Urban Outfitters in Japan deal

US retailer Urban Outfitters has forged a distribution and marketing agreement with World Company for its Free People brand in Japan.

The multi-year agreement with World will mark Urban Outfitters’ first full-scale entry into the Japanese market, and is expected to commence with the Free People brand’s spring 2013 collection.

‚ÄúTogether we expect to build the same customer awareness and brand loyalty in the Japanese market that Free People currently enjoys domestically,” said Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne.

Under the agreement, World will have the right to distribute merchandise through shop-in-shop locations, standalone stores, direct-to-consumer sites, distribute to specialty stores and department store wholesale accounts, and market the brand throughout Japan.

Free People is a specialty clothing brand that features collections for women who “live free” through fashion, art, music and travel. It offers apparel, shoes, and accessories.

Headquartered in Kobe, Japan, World is a specialty store retailer of private label women’s, men’s and kids apparel. Since its inception in 1959 as a knitwear wholesaler, World has expanded to include more than 2700 shops in operation with a focus on integration across production, retail, marketing and ecommerce in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

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