BRAND SYMBOL MARK
Half-cut Union Jack is meant to show that Watanabe & Co., Ltd. has been working with the UK for half a century since our establishment in 1962, and to convey that we will continue to try to tell the brands’ stories created by the UK craftsmen to the customers in Japan and all over the world.
Also our brand colour, which we named “Craftsman Brown”, expresses our UK craftsmanship’s spirit and skill for the “crafting”.
- Company Name
- WATANABE & CO.,LTD.
- Business Outline
- Sole import agent business
- Year of Establishment
- 20 million yen
- Yoshihiko Watanabe, managing director
1954 Born in Kyoto City, Kyoto
1977 Graduated from Sophia University's Faculty of Science and Technology; Entered IBM Japan Co.,Ltd.
1980 Entered Watanabe & Co.,Ltd.
1991 Assumed the post of managing director
2012 to the present Studying at Graduate School of International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University, to get a master's degree in management
- Number of Employees
- 69 (as at Jun 2016)
- Company's Philosophy
- 1. Act with a sense of respect and esteem
2. Act of one's own motive
3. Try to understand each other
4. Be open-minded and flexible
5. Act honestly
6. Keep on learning
7. Keep trying and never give up
- Main brands imported
- Glenroyal, Lavenham, Drake's, Joseph Cheaney, Brooks England, Macalastair, Owen Barry, Deakin & Francis, Atkinsons, Beaumont Organic, Chester Jefferies, Wallace & Sewell, etc..
- Main clients
- Ships Ltd., Tomorrowland Co.,Ltd. Barneys Japan Co.,Ltd.,
BEAMS Co.,Ltd., Bay cruise group, United Arrows Ltd., Daimaru Matsuzakaya Department Stores Co.,Ltd., Takashimaya Company, Limited, Hankyu Hanshin Department Stores,Inc., Mitsukoshi Isetan Co.,Ltd, Bshop inc. etc.
- Watanabe & Co.,Ltd.was established.
- We started working as a Japanese sole agent for the European makers of clothing materials. We had produced sufficient results and obtained the trust of the makers; we operated import business at the same time.
- We started importing the lace made in the UK, France and Switzerland. In recognition of our import business of the clothing materials and so forth, we were allotted a quota of the import of European lace, which was one of the import restricted goods at that time.
We sold it mainly to the wholesalers of the women's clothing materials.
- We started working as a Japanese sole agent for the European makers of lace. Because we were allotted the quota, lots of lace makers offered us a position as their agent.
- We started exporting domestic clothing materials and lace, mainly to Australia and New Zealand, and to Hong Kong and Singapore as well.
- We had to stop exporting because of the strong yen due to the Plaza Accord.
- We started selling the imported clothing materials and lace directly to the apparel makers. We established more relationship with brands like Bigi, Nicole and Jun that were famous for their designs and characters at that time.
- We started to work as a sole import agent for the European women's clothing, men's clothing and fashion accessories. (knitwear, scarves, leather shoes, small leather accessories and so on). Our business had contained only clothing materials until then. However, as we were introduced to the clothing and accessory makers mainly by the clothing material makers both abroad and domestic, we started to have a relationship with them.
We sold the clothing and accessories to Ships, Beams, United Arrows, Barneys Japan and so on, which were making a rapid and remarkable achievement as a specialised shop offering imported goods.
- We moved our office to 5 chome, Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ward, Tokyo. (our present office)
- We opened Tampico en France, the predecessor of the present retail business, in one corner of a showroom.
- We opened W-Number, our directly-managed store, at 5 chome, Minami-Aoyama, Minato Ward, Tokyo.
We opened Waternavy, the predecessor of the present online business.
- We unified the name of our stores, W-Number and Waternavy to DECENTAGES.
We made our concept, "A proposal for the European quality of life", and named our stores after the words "Decent" and "Heritage".
In April of the same year, we opened DECENTAGES Marunouchi, which is our directly-managed store on the second floor of the Shin- Marunouchi Building.
- We celebrated our 50th year in business.
As it was our 50th year, we founded "the Project to think about the future of Watanabe & Co.,Ltd." and started to have more opportunities to think about Watanabe & Co.,Ltd. in the company. Based on our fifty-year history, and by specializing in the UK to be highly professional in the field of the UK, we aimed to offer more value to the society, which is our policy.
- The renewal and relaunched of British Made Aoyama and Marunouchi stores, formally known as Decentages. The British Made concept was established to introduce and tell the stories of British craftsmanship to customers in Japan and around the world.
In April, we opened our first British Made Osaka store in Grand Front Osaka.
- The renewal and opening of British Made Aoyama Head office.
- Our first British Made store in Tokai region was opened, British Made Nagoya store.
The renewal and relaunched of British Made Online shop.
- Our first British Made store in Kyushu region was opened, British Made Hakata store.
Our first British Made Ladies concept store was established and launched in NEWoMan Shinjuku.
Sharing the joy of one of our favourite brands, Joseph Cheaney, we celebrated the British shoemaker’s 130th anniversary.
- Our 3rd store in Kanto region, British Made Ginza store was opened together with Drake’s Japan flagship store, in Ginza Six.
The renewal and relaunched of UK’s leading leather goods manufacturer, Glenroyal’s official website.