Oka Direct, the home interiors brand owned by prime minister David Cameron’s mother-in-law Lady Annabel Astor, has agreed a global licensing deal with LF Products to expand its business into Asia.
Oka, which has seen continued growth in the UK since it launched its first catalogue in 1999, has signed the deal with LF Product, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered multinational Li & Fung Ltd, to franchise its brand globally. The move will enable Oka to have a presence in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe, where it will be available to franchise in high-end department stores.
To coincide with the international expansion plans, Oka is also looking to adapt its business model, to more closely reflect that of the fashion industry; offering seasonal collections and providing a personal shopper experience.
Recently launched in the UK, Oka’s Interior Design Service will also be franchised internationally. The service will offer shoppers a consultation with an expert in interior design, working exclusively with Oka.
Commenting on the deal, Annabel Astor, Oka’s chief executive and cofounder said, she was looking forward to taking the Oka brand to an international audience, “When we set up the company in 1999 we never imagined that the mail order catalogue we created would grow into a global brand. Our resilience during the tough trading conditions of the past few years has enabled us to take this significant step forward.”
In countries where Oka is not available as a trading name the brand will be adapted to “Annabel Astor”. In the UK the brand name “Annabel Astor for OKA” will be introduced, in addition to the existing Oka brand.
LF Products will manage the supply chain and support marketing and sales.
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