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August 01, 2011

ELLESSE

ELLESSE SETS SIGHTS ON ASIAN GRAND SLAM

Premium Italian Sportswear Brand, Ellesse, Arrives In the Philippines With Aggressive Expansion Plans To Dominate the Southeast Asian Markets As Discussed With Global Managing Director.

For Immediate Release: Founded in Italy in 1959 by Mr. Leonardo Servadio, noted Italian sportswear brand, Ellesse, has been providing premium apparel and footwear to recreational and professional athletes alike for over 50 years. Named after the founder’s initials, “L” / “S”, Ellesse is known worldwide as an authentic Italian sportswear brand with rich sporting heritage, specifically in ski and tennis. Over the years, the likes of Boris Becker, Chris Evert, Guillermo Vilas, Marc Girardelli, Jean-Luc Cretier, Muhammad Ali, Maurice Cheeks and Brigitte Nielsen have all been associated with the brand.

Available in 54 different countries, Ellesse’s recent partnership with local retail distributor, The Primer Group of Companies, has made the brand available in the Philippines for the first time. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ellesse’s Global Managing Director, Mr. Mike Stropforth (MS), who provided us with firsthand knowledge as the brand lays groundwork for its aggressive expansion within the country and Southeast Asia.

Q: When asked about Ellesse’s history and how it differentiate from other sports brands:
MS: “Ellesse is based on the notion of style infused into sportswear,” explains MS. “The brand is based upon sportswear mixed with lifestyle… fashionable sportswear.” “Ellesse creates high quality products you can wear both on and off the court…”

“Ellesse is the essence of Italian style. Many of the other sportswear providers focus on the harder side of sports… winning and getting sweaty, while we’re focused on looking good while playing… equally on the styling of the product as the function.”

Q: “Company Strengths?”
MS: “Ellesse is one of the longest standing sportswear brands in the world with over 50 years of history and with age, comes credibility.”

“The strength is in our logo as well. It’s extremely recognizable and has not changed since we incorporated the ‘semipalla’ or hybrid design made from two tips of skis and half a tennis ball.”

“We focus on innovative products and growing with changing demands as we have over the past 50 years. As a smaller company compared to the top three sportswear companies, we have the ability to adapt accordingly to local markets.”

“Our attention to detail and quality of materials used are both extremely high.”

“We stick with vibrant colors and blocks [structures] that when you see a piece you’ll know that it’s Ellesse.”

Q: “What is your target market?”
MS: “Ellesse is ideal for those ages 20 – 30 and appeals equally to both males and females. Targets are fresh grads who take pride in what they wear and want to look good even when they exercise. We target the upper-middle-class as we provide a high quality, premium product that’s still accessible and affordable.”

“Those who buy Ellesse are mainly recreational athletes but in no way do our products limit performance.”

Q: “What is Italian style?”
MS: “Italian style is much more about the fit, the cut and style of a product. Apparel is much more stylized as formfitting.”

Q: “Why the Philippines and why now?”
MS: “Asia has always been a big part of our long term strategy. We’re a licensed business so we have been looking for a local partner for sometime who understands the retail industry and understands the market and we are fortunate enough to have found that with Primer.”

“The brand is right for the Philippines… This is an exciting market with a good mix of designer stores you’ll find in any country around the world right down to local retailers.”

Q: “What are your expectations and plans for the Philippines?”
MS: “The majority of the Philippine line will be designed locally for the local market to take into account fit, block, etc. Everything will be taken into account from local representatives providing detailed trend reports to ensure that Ellesse is positioned well with the Philippines.”

“Ellesse will open its first-ever freestanding store in Southeast Asia this September in Davao City followed a second one in Alabang by the end of this year… Third store will open in Fort Bonifacio by Q1 of 2012… plans are to have nine freestanding store open nationwide in the Philippines within the next two years.”

“Stores will be stylized. It will not be overtly Italian with flags hanging everywhere though when you enter, it will be distinctly Italian. It will exude class and quality… Store will be slick and polished. Shoppers will have a premium shopping experience in a sports boutique as opposed to a sports store.”

“We are also planning to open in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan within the next two years.”

Q: “What is the Heritage Collection?”
MS: “Given our extensive history, we recently started reissuing archived pieces. The pieces are very retro and well received… Though the pieces are from past collections, they are still modern and compelling and great from a marketing standpoint…. You can’t buy heritage which is what we have.”

Q: “Additional?”
MS: “It is our goal to continue delivering a stylish, quality products… we strive to keep our products fresh and modern.”

Ellesse is exclusively distributed by the Primer Group of Companies. For additional information, please visit: www.primergrp.com.

About Primer Group of Companies
The Primer Group’s network of companies is multiplying in a pace never achieved before. The company is now realizing its vision to become the LEADER in the global distribution and innovation of premium goods and services across the Asian region namely Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. After 25 years of continuous and steady growth, its retail authority has grown to over 50 premium brands, 100 free-standing concept stores and over 600 consignment doors in the Asian region. The company is set to reach greater heights through its numerous milestones and marketing commendations locally and abroad. The Primer Group of Companies is also proud to have expanded its business portfolio in the area of industrial products and services. Most recently, the company also opened its first professional retail and merchandising academy. For more information about Primer Group, visit www.primergrp.com.

For additional details, please contact:
William Hsu
Monsters Centaur Production Inc.
+63.917.522.5161 whsu@monstersproduction.com

Charmaine Palermo
Monsters Centaur Production Inc.
+63.917.899.7902 cpalermo@monstersproduction.com

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