Japanese SME manufacturing ergonomically superior flip-flops seeks EU partners for distribution, manufacturing, and agency agreements

A Japanese company specialized in the manufacture of comfortable flip-flops is looking for distributors, manufacturing partners, and agents in the EU. They are the only remaining flip-flop manufacturer that does all production domestically, and pride themselves on their craftsmanship which results in ergonomically superior products. The products are offered in a large number of variations and can be custom-produced depending on the partners’ request.
This Japanese company with over 70 years of experience is the only flip-flop producer in the country that still completely manufacturers their products domestically. The flip-flop originally descends from the Japanese zōri, whose soles were made of rice straws in its early conception. The concept became popular in the United States after World War II as American soldiers brought the footwear back from Japan. In modern days the company has become the only manufacturer which still operates entirely in Japan. Their mission is to continue manufacturing as the only brand offering fully Japan-made flip-flops. Their flip-flop sandals are mainly sold in domestic apparel and department stores. They are also sold to professional sports teams among other examples. The products are offered in 19 different colours for the sole, 12 colours for the thongs, allowing for a total of 228 colour combinations. The sizes offered are from Europe size 24 for children to 48 for adults. The company has a stable inventory throughout the year and never runs out of goods. The company is more and more interested in the EU market as they have seen the number of inquiries from within the EU increasing year by year. In the EU market, the company would like to have a partnership that allows them to connect with select shops and work together in terms of custom product development that incorporates the brand logo of the select shops, but also highlights the Japanese manufacturing background. The company has some experience introducing their products to the EU market at exhibitions through a Japanese apparel company, and has directly sold their products to select shops. The company wants to increase their direct partnerships in the EU and is excited to discuss regarding direct sales and further product development. They want to engage in distribution services and commercial agency agreements for their regular line-up of products. Furthermore, for more custom requests they are also open to manufacturing agreements in smaller quantities. The Japanese company will happily provide partners with samples and brochures, and can send more custom-tailored promotional materials for support at exhibitions as well.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought: 
The company wants to export their products to the EU because they sense there is an opportunity in the market for high-quality products made in Japan. They are looking for distributors or agents in the EU that have experience in the casual footwear, beach and outdoor products market in their respective countries. They are also very interested in receiving propositions for custom manufacturing in smaller quantities and engage in a manufacturing agreement. Ideally this sort of partnership would involve a close collaboration that promotes both the Japanese manufacturing background and the partners’ wishes. The company aims to create long-term relationships with their partners and wants to cooperate to reach the right sales channels and is continuously looking for new ways to make partnerships as mutually beneficial as possible.
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