Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) has reached a five-year Japanese distribution deal. The agreement involves Look Inc. and Mitsubishi Corp. and includes retail distribution rights in the Asian nation. June 4, 2014
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA) (“Vera Bradley” or the “Company”) today announced it has entered into a five-year agreement with Look Inc. (“Look”), who has exclusive rights to market and distribute its products in Japan. As a partner to Look, Mitsubishi Corporation (“Mitsubishi”) has been granted the exclusive right to import Vera Bradley products into Japan during the term of the agreement.
Look is expected to begin distribution of the Vera Bradley brand in Japan in October 2014. Throughout the term of the agreement, Look is expected to open Vera Bradley stand-alone retail stores and boutiques as well as sell its products through select department stores and specialty shops in Tokyo and other key metropolitan markets throughout Japan. In addition, Look will assume operation of www.verabradley.co.jp, the Vera Bradley Japanese e-commerce site, by early fall 2014.
Robert Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, noted, “We entered Japan on our own over three years ago, and our experience has proven to us that there is an enormous opportunity for Vera Bradley there. Mitsubishi and Look have an unparalleled retail network of department stores, boutiques, and free-standing stores throughout Japan as well as distribution and retail partnerships with several internationally renowned brands. We have many loyal customers in Japan, and we believe Mitsubishi and Look will be the right partners to expand our reach and help us capitalize on our potential there.”
In the Company's third fiscal quarter, Vera Bradley will discontinue the operations of its existing 13 retail locations in Japan.
Guggenheim Securities served as financial advisor to Vera Bradley in this transaction.
About Vera Bradley, Inc.
Vera Bradley, Inc. is a leading designer of women's handbags and accessories, luggage and travel items, eyewear, stationery and gifts. Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand's iconic designs and versatile styles offer women of all ages a colorful way to accessorize. Vera Bradley offers a unique, multi-channel sales model as well as a focus on service and a high level of engagement with fans. Fiscal 2014 net revenues totaled approximately $536 million. The Company's commitment to breast cancer research continues to increase its reach through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. For more information about Vera Bradley (Nasdaq:VRA), visit www.verabradley.com/mediaroom.
Source: Vera Bradley Inc.