Marchon had virtually no presence before in the large brand-conscious Japanese market. Combined with with a very promising manufacturing and distribution contract with Nike and Marchon's recent acquisition of the important Nautica and Donna Karan licenses - the latter previously handled by Lantis Eyewear - the establishment of a wholly-owned Japanese sales subsidiary will reinforce Marchon's growing presence outside the domestic US market.

Sales outside the USA already represent more than one-third of Marchon's total turnover, which is expected to close in on $400 million this year, consolidating the company's position as the world's third-largest supplier after Luxottica and Safilo. Its international operations have been the major contributor, but not the only one, to recent annual growth rates of over 20 percent for the US firm.

Emphasis on marketing, logistics and customer service has been fueling much of the growth at Marchon, a rather unique company set up 17 years ago, at a time when the eyewear market was still mainly production-driven, by 3 marketing persons who believe a lot in teamwork,. Marchon doesn't own any factories. On the other hand, it started up 14 months ago a large 8,000-square-meter design and distribution center at Alpago, which now employs more than 100 people. Located in the cradle of the Italian eyewear industry, the center was added to a previous smaller sourcing and assembly unit at nearby Fortonia.

Marcolin is producing fewer models for Marchon.Marchon took over last year the distribution of its licensed Calvin Klein eyewear from Marcolin, which is now distributing it only in Switzerland.

Last year, Marchon moved its European sales and marketing office from France to Holland, which offers excellent logistics possibilities. In Europe, Marchon handles directly the distribution of its growing range of products in the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. It has exclusive deals for some product lines with major optical chains in Scandinavia. It works through distributors IN most other european countries. Marchon controls the distribution in other important markets around the world such as Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and much of Central America.