Written by Futoshi Yamada

Senken Newspaper*
Top page of Japanese apparel industry newspaper

Date: April 15, 2016

Directly send socks made in Nara, Japan to the retail stores in the US - B2B platform in collaboration

Receives orders online, deliver in a week
Tabbisocks, an American company run by a Japanese woman, and Avilas (Tamatotakada city, President-Yasufumi Iba), a company that handles raw yarns in Nara, Japan, will collaborate to build a B2B platform that directly sends made-in-Japan socks ordered online to overseas. The inventory is mainly stored in Nara and the orders are shipped and delivered by air in a week. The operation will start this summer.

Tabbisocks and Avilas
Tabbisocks was founded by Mari Wada in California in 2003, and was engaged in an agent business of American apparel brands to Japan. In 2006, Wada realized “how wonderful made-in-Japan socks are” and started selling made-in-Japan socks in the US. Socks are planned and designed in the US and produced at a sock manufacturer in Nara. The company sells to 300 stores in the US and 50 stores outside of the US. The annual sale is 70 million yen for the wholesale and 10 million yen for its own retail sales.

Avilas sells nylon yarns to socks manufacturers in Nara and also uniforms. In 2013, the company launched its original socks “Avilas” and had been searching for overseas sales including the US. Meeting Ms. Wada by chance and receiving a public subsidiary aid made the collaboration come true. While the new B2B platform will be used for the overseas sale of Avilas’ own brand, it will mainly be used for the small and medium-sized sock manufacturers in Nara who are aiming for overseas sales of their own brand.

We are in the final stages of finalizing the platform, but it will have the main category of women’s socks of $15-$30 and also categories such as sport, casual, and unisex. It is expected to have about 800 SKU. While managing the system online, large lot inventories will be stored in Nara and small and medium lot inventories will be stored in the Tabbisocks warehouse in San Jose, California.

“Interest in Japanese legwear is high, but retailers in the US don’t really trust companies that don’t have a base in the US.” (Wada) On the other hand, it is difficult for Japanese manufacturers to manage credit, contact customers daily, and make speedy transactions in the US. This collaboration of Japanese and American companies aims to solve these problems. It will start in North America, but is expecting the sales to spread to Europe, Australia, Asia, etc. in the future.

*Senken Newspaper was founded in 1948 and is a company that publishes textile and fashion industry newspapers. With the Tokyo head office as the center, it has branch offices and branches in Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Kyushu, and Shanghai, and has a network of coverage in Paris, Milan, London, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, and Seoul. The mainstay Senken newspaper is the largest specialty newspaper in the textile and fashion industry in JAPAN.

Senken Shimbun Co., Ltd.

HQ Address:
Hakozaki 314 Building, 31-4 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0015

April 01, 2016