CVC Capital Partners have been aiming for a 50 percent increase in A Bathing Ape’s outlets throughout the world, hoping that the shift to more casual clothing would continue to thrive after the current pandemic strike.
The private equity firm, which is based in London, completed its acquisition of the Japanese streetwear brand last month, and currently has its plans set on the world’s largest markets, including China, Europe, and the United States. Yann Jiang, a director at CVC, stated in an interview that the company wants to build up the brand’s outlets for up to 150 stores in the next five years, with ambitions to boost the label’s geographical and online development.
BAPE just became an independent business on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, yet it has been co-controlled by CVC, according to the Business of Fashion. The move was noteworthy since BAPE was formerly held by I.T. Limited. The exact extent of CVC’s stake in the Japanese streetwear label is currently unknown.
The project implies that BAPE and its sibling brands – AAPE, BAPE Black, Mr. Bathing Ape, and Baby Milo, for instance – will likely see an increase in retail locations throughout the globe in the near future. It still remains to be seen how this will affect their currently thriving secondhand market. Between 2016 to 2019, sales of the streetwear labels have increased by 30 percent on average in China, 13 percent in Japan, and low teens in the United States.
Despite this, physical stores expansions came at a time when clothing and retail sectors have been turned upside down during these trying times. Consumers have shifted away from discretionary products and more toward food and other basic commodities as a result of the rise of online shopping. The transition from high-end clothes correlates with a growing emphasis on cultural relevance over prestige partnerships in today’s streetwear culture.