Chloe International S.A., which opened its flagship store in uptown Tokyo in late January, said it plans to expand throughout Japan this year.

Popular in Japan for its Paddington bags that fly off the shelves as soon as they hit its Japanese stores, Chloe said it would open five new shops in the next two years and enhance its presence through concessions.

The brand currently operates just three concessions selling only its accessory lines, but it will also expand this format to some 8-10 stores by 2008.

Chloe opened its first outlet in Japan in 2003 and now revenues generated in Japan account for about 20% of the brand's international total. Half of Chloe's Japan income is accrued from bags, and the other half from clothing.

Chloe expects both Japanese and global sales to double this year largely due to success both from its apparel items and sales of Paddington brand bags that retail at around JPY198,000.

By Michael Fitzpatrick