Marubeni Joins OPA International Ltd., a Hong Kong-Based SPA Company, in Establishment of a Domestic Textile Distributor in Shanghai

Nov. 14. 2005
Marubeni Corporation

In September, Marubeni Corporation joined OPA International Ltd. (hereinafter, OPA. President: Mr. Hideo Sasaki), a Hong Kong-based SPA clothing company, and other companies in establishing a new enterprise to market OPA’s products in Shanghai. The group recently began to select the shops.

OPA, an SPA company, bases its activities on Japanese trend information. It plans and designs its products in Hong Kong and focuses its manufacturing works on the southern areas of China. Currently OPA runs shops for four brands in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Its representative brands, namely OPA and CEU, have already become established in the two areas as casual ladies’ brands. With 13 shops already added in this term, OPA now has a total of 59 shops.

A flood of famous European brands and an increasing number of brands from Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea are advancing into the Chinese clothing market. Japanese clothing companies have lagged behind the trend. Marubeni will participate in the business of clothing marketing in China by fully funding OPA to ensure its continuous growth and the development of shops in the Chinese area, including Hong Kong and Taiwan. The new company has appointed a person with experience in brand management in China to the post of general accountant. The experience will be used in the prompt development of a network and the Chinese business.

CEU is a sport casual brand targeting women aged 18 to 20. Its prices range from 200 yuan to 600 yuan. OPA, an elegant casual brand, targets women who work in foreign companies and are in their twenties and thirties. OPA prices its products in the range of 400 yuan to 1500 yuan. Price-wise, OPA slightly differs from the Chinese domestic brands. As incomes in the urban areas increase, however, the buyers’ population is expected to grow substantially. By equipping the areas with the functions of shop operation and product supply, OPA plans to swiftly address the Chinese consumers’ demands with both products and services. In this way, the company intends to constantly emphasize its brand appeal and differentiate itself from the competition.

For the time being, the new company plans to focus on department stores in Shanghai and the surrounding cities in developing its shops. The shop expansion will go eastward and northward. Marubeni and OPA aim to open 100 shops and achieve sales of nearly 1.5 billion yen after five years. The production base in China is now located in the southern part of China and will be extended eastward. In the future, Marubeni will produce and offer continent-derived products and support OPA in its business expansion in Asia.


Profile of the new company

Company name      : Shanghai OPA Fashion Trading Co., Ltd.

Location                : No. 167, Jiangning Road, Shanghai, P.R., China

Capital                   : US$617,000

Proportion of ownership: OPA 75%, Marubeni 15%, other 10%

Business activities   : Marketing of OPA brands’ products in China


Profile of OPA

Company name      : OPA International Ltd.

Location                : Flat A, 4/F., International Industrial Building, 501-503
                             Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon.

Capital                   : HK$2.5 million

Established            : 1996

Business activities  : production and marketing of clothes

Performance         : 150 million Hong Kong dollars (sales in the period
                            ended February 2005)

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