Magazines Archives - 2007 April
FJ Benjamin acquires exclusive rights to retail Celine in South-east Asia
SINGAPORE fashion retailer FJ Benjamin has secured the exclusive rights to retail French brand Celine in four South-east Asian markets, a move that may signal its return to luxury labels after a decade of retailing mass-market apparel.
The rights, acquired from French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, are for Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The retailer will acquire seven stores in the region under a franchise agreement for an initial seven years, with an option to renew for another seven years.
In an aggressive plan it has laid out, FJ Benjamin will roughly double the number of Celine stores in the region over the next three years.
CEO Nash Benjamin also projected that the South-east Asian retail market would continue to see growth, especially with new developments rising.
[In] Singapore, for example, we didnt really have any growth in retailing until a year and a half ago. The market was very flat. As we said earlier on, were coming to this business at the right time, at the development of many malls and resorts, casinos and shopping malls being built, so the upside looks good.
The acquisition was also in line with the companys wider initiative to expand its brand portfolio. Before the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, FJ Benjamin was known for distributing high-end fashion brands such as Gucci and Fendi. It now retails contemporary mass-market brands like Gap, Banana Republic and Guess.
FJ Benjamin did not disclose financial details of the deal but maintained that it would likely yield immediate returns on investments for the group.