Japanese baby products firm Ficelle makes full-scale Thai debut

BANGKOK, NNA - Ficelle Inc. is advancing into Thailand in earnest to promote its popular 10mois and other brand baby clothing and products to cash in on potentially strong demand in one of Southeast Asia's largest markets.

Ficelle opened its first outlet in the Central Embassy shopping mall in Bangkok last month by joining hands with K-AG Kin All Gen Co., a local distributor, following successful half-year online sales on a trial basis last year which raked in 5 million baht ($155,000).

Ficelle, based in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, offers a wide variety of 10mois and other brand items such as baby and maternity clothes, sleeping vests, bibs and portable chairs with prices ranging from 400 to 10,000 baht. The name 10mois is based on the French words "dix" (ten) and "mois" (month), referring to the arrival of a baby after pregnancy.

Lukkana Jaovisidha, executive director of K-AG Kin All Gen and mother of two children, said in an interview with NNA that the luxury goods market, particularly baby care products, is likely to grow unabatedly as many parents tend to have fewer babies and spend lavishly on infant apparel and accessories for their children.

In addition to parents, the Thai distributor says, it is counting on grandparents to buy Ficelle products as gifts for their grandchildren.

It predicts that foreign expatriates will account for 30 percent of overall customers.

Ficelle and its Thai partner are planning to open two more stores in the capital this year, including a flagship shop to be located in a Takashimaya department store due to open this autumn. They hope to operate five shops in Thailand by 2020.

Ficelle also recently opened an outlet in Singapore almost to coincide with its foray into Thailand after successful product launches in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. (NNA/Kyodo)