LONDON, October 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Since her birth in the early 70's Hello Kitty has become a billion dollar a year brand, but it is only in the last year Sanrio's brand has moved into the world of high end fashion, with its Milan based Pynkiss label. Since then the brand's innovative, experiential, multi-channel 'shoppertainment' approach has seen Pynkiss shortlisted for The Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards 2012 and the stratospheric global growth of the high end Pynkiss label has taken even the brand owners and licensors, Sanrio, by surprise. Pynkiss, first launched at Milan Fashion Week in 2011, has since opened a raft of stores in the Middle East and Asia fuelled by demand from stockists and franchisees. Pynkiss has ambitious plans to expand its global presence further, with more stores set to open in the US, Europe and Asia. The stores that have already opened have had their shelves stripped bare within hours, and the flagship stores had to restock twice within the first 3 days of trading. For a business only one year old, Pynkiss has performed exceptionally well against global retail projections. In 2011 the global retail market saw composite retail growth of 5.3% for established brands and Pynkiss has conformed to growth trends achieving a 4.9% increase since September 2011, within its first 12 months of trading. There has been significant growth in retail sales across African and Middle East regions, with a steady 9.3% increase over the last 2 years, and Pynkiss' presence within the Middle East has contributed to its 4.9% total sales increase. With Pynkiss set to expand across the Asian and Pacific markets, they are looking to contribute to the 4.7% retail sales growth in these regions. A recent study found Africa and the Middle East had generated the highest compound annual growth out of all regions, and Pynkiss has also enjoyed commercial success after beginning its retail operation in the Middle East, with sales in this region exceeding all expectations. Roberto Lanzi EMEA President of Sanrio says, "A brand that can strike a chord across so many differing cultures in its first year of trading, shows that innovative consumer experiences like 'shoppertainment' are where the global retail sector must head. The consumer wants and expects more than simply browsing and they wish to be engaged with in unique and personal ways. That is just what Pynkiss offers for consumers. Not only do the statistics back this up but a nomination for a 'shopper connection' award within the first year of trading, alongside such well respected brands as Blackberry and LG, is further iteration that this strategy works. This endorsement is beyond our most optimistic predictions for Pynkiss and to say we are delighted is an understatement!"