McDonald's clothing lines up for Japanese launch

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TOKYO -- McDonald's Co. (Japan) Ltd. is to sell a line of children's casual clothing and accessories at major retailers nationwide starting in the spring of 1998 in conjunction with Itochu Fashion Systems Co.

The McKids line of clothing and accessories is expected to generate annual sales of $6.95m in 1998, $12.17m in 1999 and $17.4m in 2000, a spokesman with McDonald's Japan says.

The McKids line of clothing is currently sold in the U.S. at retailers such as Walmart. The line in Japan will be sold under license from McDonald's Corp.

"This new product launch should help to strengthen our image by showing that we are more than just a food company. The clothing line will broaden the fun and appealing image of McDonald's in Japan," the spokesman says.

McDonald's Japan has not decided on an ad agency, but it is planning an ad campaign on television and in print for the McKids clothing line.

The company estimates that clothing should make up about 70% of annual McKids sales with accessories picking up the remaining 30%.

McDonald's Japan and Itochu Fashion Systems are currently negotiating with supermarket and retail chains to put the McKids line on the market.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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