Japanese sportswear maker Descente beefs up R&D in S. Korea

25, Oct. 2018

SEOUL, NNA - Japanese sportswear company Descente Ltd. has opened a shoe research and development center in the southern port city of Busan, to create high-end ergonomic trainers.

The company has invested about 5.5 billion yen ($49 million) in the Descente Innovation Studio Complex in Busan, where the shoe industry has built a substantial cluster, a spokeswoman told NNA.

The over 17,000-square-meter complex consists of research, material and product labs as well as a design studio. It also houses a 400-meter running track, a futsal pitch, a basketball court and other facilities for experimental trials.

The Osaka-based company has four original equipment manufacturing firms in the city, hoping to bring about a synergy effect in research with them, she said.

In addition to its sportswear, Descente plans to launch its own brand of running shoes next year, expecting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to build momentum for a sports shoe market at home.

The company aims to boost shoe sales in Japan to 13 billion yen in the year to March 2021, about 2.6 times more than the year to March 2017.

The firm opened a similar R&D center in Osaka, western Japan, in July for over three billion yen in investment, focusing on sports apparel, swimwear and outdoor wear, according to the spokeswoman.