Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co has bought a stake in Singapore-based Triple, which runs Under Armour Asia.
Triple so far has five Under Armour stores and concessions in Singapore, three in the Philippines and three in Malaysia. Another four stores are planned for this year, including the first in Thailand, and another five or six in 2016. The company also plans to enter Vietnam, Indonesia and Brunei with a goal of 35 stores across Southeast Asia by the end of 2018.
Mitsui, a general trading business, has been negotiating a stake for about eight months. It was attracted to the business by its strong eCommerce focus.
Triple CEO, Michael Binger, says Mitsui and Triple hope to leverage on their new partnership to expand the retailer’s eCommerce base across Asian markets, from a Singapore hub.
Toshi Sakurai, GM of consumer service with Mitsui Asia Pacific, said his company’s current strategy focuses on brand marketing in downstream sector, among which sports and lifestyle is the key category judging from the global trend.
“Establishing the retail network in rapidly growing market such as Southeast Asia is regarded as the key element to leverage this brand marketing strategy.
“Triple’s participation is the best fit to these points.”
Mitsui’s investment will also help Triple develop partnerships with other brands, capitalising on its existing relationships with retail landlords.
Said Binger: “Triple sees Mitsui as a strong long-term strategic partner with good complementary strengths. Mitsui has a network of relations with brands that are not yet represented in Southeast Asia, and with the wide business interests of Mitsui and Triple’s rapid growth, there will be other areas of cooperation, including logistics.”