Black Yak executives discuss overseas growth

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Black Yak executives discuss overseas growth

In a New Year’s press conference on Tuesday, executives of leading Korean outerwear brand Black Yak said that its main goal for the year was to increase its presence overseas.
The Korean company took a step toward reaching its achievement in October when it acquired Portland, Oregon-based Nau from its previous owner Horny Toad for about $15 million.
Nau is a clothing retailer founded in 2007 by product developers from major sportswear brand including Nike, Adidas and Patagonia. The company specializes in performance wear.
In his speech, Black Yak Chairman Kang Tae-sun outlined his expansion plans.
“In 2012, we established a foundation for doing business overseas by setting up a global business division,” he said.
“This year, we will focus on extending our business in Asia, Europe and North America.”
The clothing company also plans to introduce the recently acquired Nau to Korean consumers this year.
Kang Jun-suk, the eldest son of the chairman and director of Black Yak’s global business division, said that owning Nau will help the company grow in the United States.
“With Nau, we will have an easier time finding retail distributors in the United States,” the director said during the press conference.
“Black Yak is also looking for partnerships in the U.S. market.”
The apparel company has had stores in China since 1998 and has slowly built up a customer base there.
Kang Jun-suk added that Black Yak will create new marketing strategies for each region.
“In the European market, we will centralize our resources to produce high-end outdoor outfits and premium sportswear,” he said.
“But in the Chinese market, we tapped into the popularity of Korean dramas and pop culture.”
Founded in 1973, Black Yak has developed into a major outdoor brand in Korea and has more than 300 stores worldwide.
The brand gained popularity in the early 2000s as mountain climbing grew to become a popular national pastime.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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