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[FL] Day 4: First Lady Visits Vera Bradley in Japan
Start Date: 9/10/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/10/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

TOKYO – First Lady Karen Pence visited the Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA) store at Marui Yurakucho in Ginza, Tokyo’s most famous upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment district, to celebrate the designer’s entrance into Japan. 

“The colors and styles of Vera Bradley bags are iconic of Indiana, as the company is headquartered in our state,” said Pence. “My daughter Charlotte and I were thrilled to find this reminder of home here in Japan and see that love for this special brand really does cross cultures. It was exciting to discover for ourselves the real magnitude of Vera Bradley, which is proof that a great idea and a little Hoosier ingenuity can take you around the world.”  

Fort Wayne-headquartered Vera Bradley, a designer of handbags, gifts, travel items and accessories, launched in Japan in April 2011 with a website and a pop-up store at the prestigious Isetan Shinjuku department store. This is the first international market that Vera Bradley has entered. The company’s Japanese marketing efforts have since expanded to selling in 14 department stores throughout the Kanto and Kansai regions. 

Vera Bradley’s store manager and other associates at Marui Yurakucho, one of the company’s best performing Tokyo locations, led Pence and her daughter, Charlotte, on a tour of the store and discussed the company’s efforts to connect the brand with Japanese consumers. Representatives from the Japan External Trade Organization, which helped Vera Bradley launch in Tokyo, were also present. 

The homegrown-Indiana company was founded 31 years ago by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller who were inspired to start the company when they noticed a lack of feminine-looking luggage while waiting at an airport terminal. Today, Vera Bradley is available at 79 Vera Bradley retail stores and 14 outlet stores across the United States. The company currently employs approximately 50 associates in Japan, 1,000 in Indiana and 2,600 total. 

Pence’s visit comes on the heels of Vera Bradley’s announcement last month that it plans to invest $26.6 million to grow its Fort Wayne operations, creating up to 128 new jobs by 2017. This is the designer’s second major expansion in northeast Indiana in less than two years. In 2011, the company made plans to invest $22.5 million to expand its Roanoke distribution center to 420,000 square feet, adding 124 new jobs. 

In Japan, Pence is presenting Vera Bradley totes and accessories as one of her gifts. 

A photo of the First Lady’s visit can be found attached. Additional photos and video from today’s events will be added to the Day 4 page, which is accessible by visiting 

About Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley is a leading designer of women's handbags and accessories, luggage and travel items, eyewear, stationery and gifts. Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand's iconic designs and versatile styles offer women of all ages a colorful way to accessorize every look. Vera Bradley offers a unique, multi-channel sales model as well as a focus on service and a high level of fan engagement. Fiscal 2013 net revenues were $541 million. The company's commitment to breast cancer research continues to increase its reach through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. For more information about Vera Bradley (Nasdaq:VRA), visit 


Location Information:
Contact Information:
Name: Kara Brooks
Phone: 317/232.1622
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    First Lady

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