BANGKOK, NNA – Japanese clothing and appliance recycling firm Watt Mann Co. will open its first overseas shop in Thailand as early as July.
The outlet in Bangkok will sell recycled fashion accessories, tableware, sports and outdoor goods, and musical instruments.
The company will set up Watt Mann (Thailand) Co. this month, according to managing director Hajime Komatsu.
He said the Bangkok store will not sell clothing or electric appliances for the first year or two but will eventually start trading them, initially procuring second-hand goods from Japan.
The Thai government bans the import of electric appliances put on the market more than three years ago, Komatsu said, adding that newer models still require government approval.
Watt Mann shops in Japan trade clothing in high volume so the company is not currently in need of an export market, which would require a bigger warehouse and ironing machines for shipments.
Many of the recycling chain’s 48 outlets are in Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo.
The company will own a 49 percent stake in the planned Thai unit with registered capital of 4 million baht ($127,000), according to its statement.
SMBC Management Service Co. and SBCS Co., both Thai affiliates of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. group, will each hold a 13 percent share, with Asia Consulting Service Co., a Thai firm, holding 25 percent, the statement said.
Watt Mann has decided to shift from shipping second-hand items to Thailand to direct selling at its own Bangkok store, Komatsu said.
It aims to open a few more Thai outlets within one to two years, he said. “We would like to increase sales channels at home and abroad to enlarge recycling networks.”
He said the company plans to source used items locally after opening a second shop and is anticipating demand from Japanese expatriates.