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TOKYO — Kate Spade Saturday opened its first freestanding store this weekend, appropriately enough on its namesake day.
This story first appeared in the March 4, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kate Spade’s new accessibly priced lifestyle brand makes its debut in a prime spot on Tokyo’s trendy Cat Street in the Omotesando district, just across a narrow path from Ralph Lauren’s massive flagship and a heavily trafficked Marc by Marc Jacobs store.
The 2,420-square-foot boutique features a glass facade, a counter serving Sigmund’s Pretzels and airy interiors heavy on sunny yellow, the brand’s signature hue.
Kyle Andrew, senior vice president, brand director at Kate Spade Saturday, said it made sense to open the brand’s first store in Japan, Kate Spade’s second-largest market after the United States. She noted that Kate Spade has a high level of name recognition in the country that the company wants to capitalize on.
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“It’s sending a signal about who we want to be. We want to be known to be forward. We want people to get excited about it,” she said, adding that Kate Spade hopes the new brand will help it tap into a younger consumer base. “The Japanese are known for being very forward and kind of modern in their tastes.”
A handful of other Kate Spade Saturday stores are rolling out in developments and malls in Japan over the coming weeks. Andrew said the brand is looking at potential locations for the brand’s first U.S. store, possibly in New York or Los Angeles, and it is looking at other Asian markets, but “nothing is solid.”
As reported, Kate Spade Saturday is launching this spring through e-commerce in the United States. The brand will enter the Brazilian market in early fall through e-commerce and stores in São Paulo.
“We think it’s going to be such a broadly appealing concept [with] the price points married with the name Kate Spade,” she said, declining to give sales forecasts for the brand. “We just see huge opportunity in so many of our international markets.”
Prices in Japan range from 4,725 yen, or about $51, for a square bangle to 13,545 yen, or $145, for a sleeveless jersey dress.