Japan's Itochu Corporation and retailer Descente Ltd will launch the French 'Nuni' brand of golf wear in Japan this week.

Itochu has signed an exclusive import, sale, and licensing agreement for three years with France-based J2PS, which is behind the European brand.

Descente will act as nationwide distributor and sub-licensee and plans to launch sales via four of its owned and operated stores, focusing on its Shibuya store and its new Jiyugaoka store, which is scheduled to open in December.

Sales are projected to grow to JPY1bn (US$8.61m) by fiscal 2008 while the partnership plans to offer the Nuni brand from 15 stores combining owned-and-operated stores and select shops later.

Nuni was launched in Europe in the 2003 spring/summer season, and later in North America in 2005.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.