From spring 2017, Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings will switch the wholesale of its miscellaneous brand Number Twenty-One for the overseas markets into high gear. The brand’s pioneering ladies’ shoes were exhibited overseas at Première Classe in Paris, January 2016 and Micam in Milan, September 2016. Through this new trading partners have been cultivated, resulting in numerous orders, such as for products in collaboration with Isetan’s creators. It plans to increase its sales bases, and widen the range not just of ladies’ shoes, but for miscellaneous items as well.

This new drive will start from late December through early January at the department stores of Selfridges and Liberty, in London, UK. Selfridges will sell ladies’ shoes; Liberty will sell accessories.

The ladies’ shoes mainly feature collaborative products, created with designers such as Newneu, where Velcro is used over the entire surface, and a variety of accessories are freely added to it. As Newneu says, “The enjoyment of being able to combine ornamentation to create unique, personal designs, along with the responses to these never-before-seen products, is great.”

Thanks to overseas exhibitions, Isetan Mitsukoshi began negotiations with department stores and speciality stores in North America, and received orders from speciality stores in Shanghai, China, and Hong Kong.

Sales of the ladies’ shoes began in February 2015 at the South Korean department store Shinsegae. It started initially with just 200 pairs, but increased in 2016 to annual sales of 2,000 pairs. Over 60% were sold to consumers at regular price. Miscellaneous merchandise was added in December. Going forward, 2017 will see a continuation of this expansion. The company will present its products at leading exhibitions in Europe, and strive to expand sales channels in Europe and America.

The problem is the discrepancy between domestic and foreign price, including customs charges. Prices in South Korea are around 1.6-1.7 times as much, but for Europe and America, they are as much as 2.5 times. Therefore, the supply chain will be reorganised, under the concept of the appropriate location for the appropriate product. For example, standard products in particular could be produced in Vietnam and sold in North America.

Annual turnover for FY2016 of the ladies’ shoe Number Twenty-One is estimated to be 1.2 billion yen, an increase of 20% year-on-year.