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M0851 eyes Japan expansion with pop-up shop openings

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today Apr 30, 2019
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Montreal-based leather goods company M0851 is testing new markets this month with the opening of two pop-up shops in Japan. 

M0851 pop-up shop in Osaka, Japan - Facebook: M0851

            
The 30-year-old fashion powerhouse, known for its full-grain leather bags, accessories and outerwear, has quietly expanded in North America over the years with stores in Toronto, Vancouver and New York. It has also debuted globally, opening stores in Beijing and Tokyo. 
 
Next, the Canadian company is looking to further expand in Japan, with a first pop-up shop opening at Kokura Izutsuya in Fukuoka on April 17 (now closed). Now, it has opened one in Osaka, Japan where the store will remain open until Sunday, June 16. 

“We are planning on opening new stores in Japan in the next two years in collaboration with our partner distributer in this market,” confirmed M0851, in an email to FashionNetwork.com. 
 
“This pop-up location was selected based on business strategy aiming to test this particular market, and to give exposure to the brand.” 
 
M0851 currently operates four stores in Japan including in Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo where it has been present for over a decade. 
 
Still, while the company once operated over 22 stores globally, it has not been immune to the realities of today’s retail industry. In 2017, it filed a notice under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and closed several franchised and corporate M0851 stores, including in Madrid, Paris, Los Angeles, Boston, and Ottawa.
 
Today it operates 13 store locations, but it looks like that number might just be growing once again. 
 
The brand’s founder, Frédéric Mamarbachi, started the company as a wholesale business in the early 1970s distributing leather bags and other leather goods. He relaunched in 1987 under the label Rugby North America and again in 2003 under the name it bears today, M0851. 

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