Nanjing Mayflower Enterprise, a large Chinese conglomerate quoted on the stock exchange of Singapore, is going to open a minimum of 290 Lumberjack stores over the next five years in China, mostly in the Eastern coastal areas. They will carry initially the Italian footwear collection of the brand, which is made mostly in Romania, but they will subsequently source up to 80 percent of the products from a new joint venture factory due to start up in March 2006.

Measuring in general between 100 and 120 square meters each, the Chinese stores will also offer a selection of licensed products such as leathergoods and eyewear. A line of apparel is likely to come in as a complement at a later stage. The first Lumberjack store will open next Dec. 15 in Nanjing, where Mayflower is based. A total of 14 other single-brand stores will follow through next Spring, and 15 others will come on steam before the end of 2006. Shop-in-shops in various department stores are envisaged as well.

In addition to the production of 6 million pairs of shoes, mostly women’s, Mayflower operates about 650 stores in China under the C-Banner name and more than 50 others under the E-Blan banner. It distributes major fashion brands such as Max Mara and Hugo Boss, and is involved in real estate and book retailing.

The contract with Mayflower calls for the sale of at least 500,000 pairs annually in China after the 3rd year of the partnership. 3A Antonini, parent company f Lumberjack, is about to sign another new contract for the brand in Taiwan. In addition to other contracts in Korea and Hong Kong, it has signed a deal in Thailand with Central Department Stores, calling for exclusive distribution of the Lumberjack brand in about 30 high-end department stores for at least one year.