By  on July 5, 2006

MILAN — Furla is expanding the firm's product offering with its first watch license.

The Bologna, Italy-based leather goods firm had outside manufacturers produce a limited number of branded timepiece styles, but has now signed a three-year agreement with Japanese watchmaker Citizen to roll out a full line. Citizen said in a statement that it anticipates the Furla watch line will have sales of 12 million euros, or $15 million at current exchange, by 2008.

The license is also the first for Citizen, which said Furla is the "ideal partner" for the company's launch of new fashion watches, "in terms of both style and affordable luxury."

Retail prices for the line, which is set to bow for fall, will range from $100 to $265.

Furla is focused on expanding its business in Japan, which doubled from 2003 to 2005 and now accounts for 20 percent of the company's total sales. Furla had revenues of 113 million euros, or $141.6 million, last year. The company expects sales of 130 million euros, or $162.9 million, this year.

Furla just opened its biggest store in the world in Tokyo's Ginza district. Covering 4,320 square feet, the two-story boutique features five large windows at street level and is furnished with Furla's "Rolling Concept" pieces — mobile furniture that allows the retailer to quickly change and redesign the store's interior. Furla has 190 brand boutiques around the world and 1,000 points of sale.

In addition to the store, the company this spring launched a collection of limited-edition handbags labeled Giovanna Furlanetto per Furla that retail for 300 euros, or $376, to 500 euros, or $626.

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