Itochu signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Novo back in 2007 to supply LeSportsacs to outlets in major department stores and other retailers.
This month, the two companies will launch a joint venture, its name not yet revealed,
to focus on the LeSportsac range of casual nylon bags. Standalone stores are a possibility, given the brand’s strong appeal and name recognition in China.
Itochu distributes the US-founded LeSportsac brand in 35 countries and Novo specialises in marketing western brands in Greater China.
Initial plans are to double the network of stores selling LeSportsac to about 100 over the next three years, with a concentration on larger cities, and to broaden the bags’ online availability.
The new venture is also likely to work on expanding the range to include products designed specifically for the China market, based on customer feedback.