Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The NATORI Company Announces Korea and Asia Pacific Expansion

For Immediate Release
November 24, 2010
New York, Southern California, Denver, Stockholm and Seoul, South Korea

The NATORI Company, which for more than 30 years has been a leading luxury company in the United States, plans to expand its brand to Korea and the Asia-Pacific region. Natori, one of the most important resources for Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s, has expanded from lingerie, bras and sleepwear to ready-to- wear, eyewear, fragrance, and home accessories.  Additionally, the company has launched Josie, a contemporary lingerie collection. The Natori Company is now searching for the right retail partner in Korea to achieve a similar success in Korea that the firm has enjoyed in the US.

Josie Natori said, “While our name and brand recognition is very high in Korea and the entire Asia- Pacific region, we have had extremely limited distribution in this region.  The time seems very right to launch an expansion, starting with Korea.”

To facilitate Natori’s expansion the company has enlisted the services of international retail consultancy Andrew Traub Consulting LLC and Bridging Culture Worldwide to match the brand with a strong licensing partner.

Andrew Traub said, “If well launched, Western brands thrive in Korea. Luxury brands such as Armani, Gucci, Vuitton, and Prada as well as Ralph Lauren, Coach, Seven For All Mankind and Brooks Brothers have all been very successful here.” 

Bridging Culture Worldwide’s Don Southerton noted that there are a small number of retailers who dominate the South Korean luxury market. These firms have the resources, talent, interest, and expertise to build international brands regionally, first in Korea and then China, Japan, Vietnam, and India. Southerton points out, “The key to success in South Korea is to match a brand with the best local partner.” 

South Korea, a highly attractive market of 49 million people, has the world’s 13th largest economy. Korea has an affluent, well educated, and global-facing workforce employed by multinational Korean companies, such as Samsung, Hyundai-Kia Motors, and LG, and which crave trendy, upscale Western brands and products. 

For more information on Natori’s Korea expansion, contact

About The Natori Company
“I have always believed there are no boundaries,” says Josie Natori, founder and CEO of the Natori Company. What began with creating lingerie on her living room floor has evolved into a lifestyle. In 1977, no longer challenged by her position as the first female Vice President of investment banking at Merrill Lynch, Josie was eager to start something new. On a whim she brought an embroidered tunic from her native country of the Philippines to a buyer who encouraged her to turn it into a sleep shirt. Josie took the advice and she was in business! “At the time, lingerie was either lewd or frumpy,” said Josie, who worked to fill the niche in between. 33 years later the company has grown into a lifestyle brand that has come to include lingerie/ sleepwear collections (Josie Natori, Natori, Josie and N Natori), the Josie Natori ready-to-wear collection, home, fragrance and eyewear.

About Andrew Traub Consulting 
With over 30 years in the retail industry, Andrew Traub’s expertise includes international brand development, strategic consulting and retail management. In particular, he has brought major American brands to the Middle East and international brands to the U.S. market. Some clients include: Gap Inc, New York &Co, Judith Leiber, Balduccis, Holt Renfrew and Shoppers Stop. Andrew Traub has been president of several retail firms. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Harvard University. 

About Bridging Culture Worldwide 
Since its founding, Bridging Culture Worldwide has focused on global and Korea-related business services. Based on over 3 decades of experience, they share cross-cultural insights to global teams and management. Bridging Culture Worldwide core services include: Consulting, Strategy, and Research; Publications; along with Franchise and Licensing Development, Product Launch, IP, and Trademark. 

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