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Mitsui & Co picks up stake in Singapore retailer Triple
May '15
Mitsui & Co, one of Japan's largest general trading companies, has invested in Singapore apparel retailer Triple Pte Ltd, according to media reports.

The deal inked last week will see Mitsui & Co take a minority stake in Triple, an omni-channel sports and lifestyle retailer that operates brand stores, shop-in-shop operations, wholesale distribution and e-commerce in key South-east Asian countries.

According to Triple's chief executive officer Michael Binger, talks between both parties had gone on for approximately six to eight months before the deal was completed on May 18.

"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 south-east Asia, and with the wide business interests of Mitsui and Triple's rapid growth, there will be other areas of co-operation, including logistics," Binger said, adding that the two parties also hope to use their partnership to fuel their e-commerce expansion.

Mitsui & Co is a Japanese company largely involved in the energy sector, though it also has businesses in fields ranging from chemicals and iron and steel, to transportation and communications systems and food products and services. It operates over 140 offices in 65 countries.

"Mitsui's current strategy focuses on brand marketing in downstream sector, among which sports and lifestyle is the key category judging from the global trend," said Toshi Sakurai, general manager of the consumer service business department of Mitsui & Co (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd.

"Establishing the retail network in rapidly growing market such as south-east Asia is regarded as the key element to leverage this brand marketing strategy. Triple's participation is best fit to these points," he added.

Triple was started in September 2013 primarily as a wholesaler for American sportswear brand Under Armour, for which it holds exclusive distribution rights in nine countries across south-east Asia.

Since then, the company has opened five Under Armour stores and shop-in-shop outlets in Singapore, three in the Philippines and three in Malaysia, all within shopping malls in prime locations.

Store expansion in its core markets - Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand - will continue with four additional stores to open in 2015, and five to six stores in 2016.

The company also plans to enter three new markets -- Indonesia, Brunei and Vietnam, via a network of partner stores and shop-in- shop executions, with five to six new stores and approximately 10 shop-in-shop locations targeted to open in these markets next year. (SH)

Fibre2fashion News Desk – India

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