OKA announces international expansion plans
OKA Direct, the furniture and interiors lifestyle brand, has confirmed that it is to expand internationally, following a global licensing deal with LF Products, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered multinational Li & Fung Limited.
OKA, which has seen continued growth in the UK since it launched as a mail order catalogue company in 1999, has signed the deal with LF Products to franchise its brand globally. The deal will enable OKA to have a presence in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe, where it will be available to franchise in high-end department stores.
OKA is to give potential franchisees visiting Shanghai the opportunity to view a mock up of a 350 sq m OKA showroom which will display the retailer’s lifestyle collections, including furniture, textiles and cushions. The retailer will also set aside a section of the showroom for department stores looking to feature specific or limited OKA ranges, such as china, textiles or bed & bath.
To coincide with the international expansion plans OKA is also looking to adapt its business model, to reflect that of the fashion industry by offering seasonal collections and providing a personal shopper experience.
Recently launched in the UK, OKA’s Interior Design Service will also be franchised internationally, with designers trained to understand OKA’s styling philosophy. The service will offer shoppers a consultation with an expert in interior design, working exclusively with OKA.
Annabel Astor, CEO and co-founder of OKA said: "We are delighted to be taking the OKA brand out to an international audience. When we set up the company in 1999 we never imagined that the mail order catalogue we created would grow into a global brand. Our resilience during the tough trading conditions of the past few years has enabled us to take this significant step forward."
In countries where OKA is not available as a trading name the brand will be adapted to ‘Annabel Astor’. In the UK the brand name ‘Annabel Astor for OKA’ will be introduced, in addition to the existing OKA brand.
LF Products will manage the supply chain and support marketing and sales.
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