The acquisition of Lotto Sport Italia by WHP Global could pay off quite generously and soon.
The brand management company is set to announce a deal with e-commerce juggernaut Coupang for the exclusive distribution of the Italian tennis and soccer brand in its native South Korea, WWD has learned.
Under the agreement, Coupang will be the sole source of Lotto products, offering a selection of men’s and women’s footwear, apparel and lifestyle accessories to South Korean consumers.
“Coupang is always striving to provide the best possible shopping experience for our customers, whether by innovating our services or expanding our ever-growing selection of products,” the e-commerce company said in the upcoming announcement. “We are thrilled to partner with WHP to bring the iconic Lotto brand and other high-quality apparel to Korea, and we will continue to seek new opportunities to make Coupang Fashion the premier shopping destination for all of our customer needs. fashion customers.”
With around 92% internet usage among consumers, South Korea achieved total revenue of $92 billion in 2021, a growth of 14%, securing its place behind the German market, but ahead of France. This qualified it as the sixth largest e-commerce market in the world last year. Some forecasts predict even more acceleration, with the country on track to reach third place, behind the United States and China.
In August, when WWD broke news of WHP Global’s bid to buy Lotto, the plan called for rapid expansion of the brand in the United States. The New York-based company, which has Joseph Abboud, Anne Klein and others in its portfolio, was reportedly interested in picking up Reebok back then as well, only to see it go to Authentic Brands Group.
Never mind. With Lotto, Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of WHP Global, has in his hands a classic sportswear and lifestyle brand that is marketed in more than 100 countries. In nearly 50 years, the company has equipped professional football teams and elite players, such as Dino Zoff, Ruud Gullit and Andriy Shevchenko, as well as tennis legends such as Martina Navratilova, Francesca Schiavone, Marion Bartoli and Boris Becker.
In total, the brand’s iconic double-diamond logo and performance-oriented products adorn more than 40 football teams, 300 professional footballers and 200 professional tennis players.
But in the United States, availability was limited, making the market a key target for initial expansion. Even so, Shmidman couldn’t help but note from the start that “the vast majority of cases are in Europe, Asia and Latin America,” he explained in August. “We will invest a lot in it in the future.”
The vision is now taking shape with Seoul-based Coupang, a massive shopping platform often referred to as “Korea’s Amazon,” with nearly 18 million active customers. The relationship could even extend beyond the lotto, WHP announced.
“Coupang is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in the world and our partnership provides a tremendous opportunity to rapidly expand online presence, not just for lotto,” said Stanley Silverstein, Chief Commercial Officer of WHP Global. , but also for our portfolio of global brands in a key consumer market.