The outdoor brand of the British Pentland group has announced that it is moving into the Chinese market in 2009. Berghaus has signed a license deal with Symphony Resources, a subsidiary of Symphony Holdings, for six years after a yearlong search for a suitable partner in the local market. Symphony has experience in footwear, apparel and sports because it is the Chinese marketer of Pony; Mango; AEE, is a local brand for womenfs footwear; Haggar, a fashion label for men; and Speedo, which is Berghaus' sister brand under the Pentland umbrella.

Symphony will be in charge of design and development, production, sales and marketing as well as retailing in the country. The plan is that Berghaus-branded goods will be sold through local specialty stores and through own retail stores. According to Berghaus, Symphony intends to open 200 single-brand stores across China. The licensee's activities will be supervised and coordinated by Berghaus Asia, an independent division based in Hong Kong.

The office in Hong Kong has a lot more work to do because it is a major part of Berghaus' global strategy to conquer East Asia. Last year, the company signed a license and distribution agreement with E.Land for South Korea. The local textile giant, which is also Ellesse's licensee in the country, has quickly opened 24 Berghaus-branded stores in South Korea and more are supposed to come.

The business in Japan started in 2007, too, through Marui, a Japanese retailer. Earlier this year Berghaus signed a five-year license deal with Arugo Active, another local company. Arugo's target is to have 100 retail customers through 2008 and 180 by the end of 2009.