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Beyond the Bale : March 2019
The partnership between AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company and TAKEO KIKUCHI promotes the versatility of Merino wool in the Japanese brand’s men’s clothing for both the business and casual sector. Targeting Japan’s middleclass millennials, the campaign began in November last year for Japan’s autumn/winter season and will continue for its spring/summer 2019 season. Owned and operated by World Group, the third largest apparel company in Japan, TAKEO KIKUCHI has annual sales of AU$300 million and operates 112 stores. Manufacturing high quality clothing at an affordable price-point, TAKEO KIKUCHI holds a similar place in the Japanese market as Country Road holds in the Australian market, although selling mainly to the men’s market rather than women’s. In May 2018 TAKEO KIKUCHI’s Chief Designer Mr Teruyoshi Fujiwara and Head of Product Development Mr Hiroya Fujimoto were invited by AWI to visit Merino sheep properties in Australia (see the September edition of Beyond the Bale). The educational visit was well received and off the back of this trip the collaboration was confirmed. The two-season partnership involves the promotion of 74,000 wool garments including 10,000 garments certified with the Woolmark logo. Each garment will have a minimum of 50% Australian wool. AWI Country Manager Japan Samuel Cockedey says TAKEO KIKUCHI is the perfect mid-tier brand to consolidate Australian wool’s place in the mainstream men’s apparel market in Japan. “TAKEO KIKUCHI is a well-established brand, known for the quality of the garments it produces. The Woolmark-certified products created through our collaboration fit well into the aesthetic of the brand and have been well- received by TAKEO KIKUCHI’s loyal consumers.” The collaboration launched with 100% Merino wool sweaters during a Christmas specific incentive campaign which was accompanied by promotional activations in store. A wool- themed in-store display was established in the flagship store in Tokyo and activations were installed in 31 other key stores across Japan. AWI has collaborated with one of Japan’s leading men’s brands TAKEO KIKUCHI, to consolidate the reputation of Australian wool in Japan and drive sales of garments made from Australian wool. JAPAN COLLABORATION DRIVES SALES GROWTH Path to purchase activations, wool education resources and marketing collateral were placed in a further 80 shops. To accompany the manufacturing and retail partnership, The Woolmark Company offered its Wool Appreciation Course and Retail Training Booklets to TAKEO KIKUCHI’s store managers and training managers ensuring staff are well educated and on-message – enabling them to convert conversations about the wool in-store into sales. “To ensure this collaboration has influence long after the committed two season partnership, The Woolmark Company has delivered the Wool Appreciation Course to both sales and training staff at TAKEO KIKUCHI, giving the brand a solid education about the benefits of Australian wool. This has also resulted in ongoing discussions to support the brand in the launch of new categories of wool products next summer,” Samuel explained. “By combining the manufacturing and retail partnership with education and support, The Woolmark Company’s local office in Japan has tailored this collaboration to suit the Japanese market, ensuring the most effective and efficient result.” The first iteration of the Wool Appreciation Course was delivered to 26 TAKEO KIKUCHI shop masters, whilst Business to Consumer (B2C) brochures were placed across the activated stores to educate shoppers about the benefits of Australian wool. The TAKEO KIKUCHI flagship Tokyo store featured a wool-themed display throughout the Christmas retail season. AWI’s partnership with TAKEO KIKUCHI will continue for Japan’s spring/summer season. OFF FARM 23
In the Shops - March 2019