The Jones Group Inc. (ticker: JNY, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
Nine West Footwear Corporation Signs License and Distribution Agreement With Kurt Geiger Ltd. for Nine West and Easy SpiritNEW YORK, June 22, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Nine West Footwear Corporation, a division of Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (NYSE: JNY) ("Jones"), announced today that it has signed an agreement with Kurt Geiger Ltd., Europe's largest luxury footwear retailer, to license and distribute the Nine West and Easy Spirit brands in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kurt Geiger will offer women's footwear, handbags and small leather goods beginning with the spring 2010 product lines. Kurt Geiger will distribute the products through department stores and also intends to open freestanding Nine West stores in the UK and Ireland, including flagship locations. The initial term of the agreement is for seven years and includes an option for renewal. Additional terms were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to partner with Kurt Geiger and to bring the Nine West and Easy Spirit brands to a broader base of consumers in the UK and Ireland," said Andrew Cohen, Nine West Footwear Corporation's Chief Executive Officer. "This agreement marks another positive step in our international licensing program. With Kurt Geiger's proven track record of execution and brand management expertise, Nine West and Easy Spirit will have increased exposure in these key European markets, with significant long-term potential to further develop these brands in currently untapped markets."
Neil Clifford, Kurt Geiger's Chief Executive Officer, said, "This is an exciting opportunity for the growth of Kurt Geiger and we are delighted to be welcoming Nine West and Easy Spirit to our portfolio. We believe that our expertise in luxury brand management paired with our unrivalled retail network within the UK and Europe will further enhance the reach of these global brands within our marketplace."
This agreement replaces a previous license and distribution agreement in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was terminated by Nine West Footwear Corporation earlier this year.
Since its founding over 30 years ago, Nine West has evolved from an American shoe label to a leading global brand that encompasses not only footwear but accessories, sportswear, denim and more. Today, Nine West is known for offering consumers high quality, trend-right products.
Easy Spirit combines a "live life to the fullest" mantra and delivers footwear with advanced comfort technology, updated classic styling and beautiful materials that are perfect for work, weekend or workout.
About Jones Apparel Group, Inc.
Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (www.jonesapparel.com) is a leading designer, marketer and wholesaler of branded apparel, footwear and accessories. The Company also markets directly to consumers through its chain of specialty retail and value-based stores. The Company's nationally recognized brands include Jones New York, Nine West, Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Kasper, Bandolino, Easy Spirit, Evan-Picone, l.e.i., Energie, Enzo Angiolini, Joan & David, Mootsies Tootsies, Sam & Libby, Napier, Judith Jack, Albert Nipon and Le Suit. The Company also markets costume jewelry under the Givenchy brand licensed from Givenchy Corporation, footwear under the Dockers Women brand licensed from Levi Strauss & Co., and apparel under the Rachel Roy brand licensed from Rachel Roy IP Company, LLC. Each brand is differentiated by its own distinctive styling, pricing strategy, distribution channel and target consumer. The Company contracts for the manufacture of its products through a worldwide network of quality manufacturers. The Company has capitalized on its nationally known brand names by entering into various licenses for several of its trademarks, including Jones New York, Anne Klein New York, Nine West, Gloria Vanderbilt, l.e.i. and Evan-Picone, with select manufacturers of women's and men's products which the Company does not manufacture. For more than 30 years, the Company has built a reputation for excellence in product quality and value, and in operational execution.
About Kurt Geiger
Kurt Geiger is Europe's largest luxury shoe retailer and has five own label brands - Kurt Geiger, KG by Kurt Geiger, Carvela, Solea and Fashionistas - and over 70 luxury brands in its portfolio, including Gucci, Prada, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith and Church's.
The company has over 100 trading locations with over 70 boutiques in leading department stores, including Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty, House of Fraser, Fenwick and John Lewis as well as 29 freestanding stores in the UK. It is also the chosen footwear partner of BAA in UK airports. In September 2005, Kurt Geiger achieved its first international move with a concession in Printemps, Paris followed by being chosen as the strategic footwear partner for La Rinascente store group in Italy. Earlier this year, the company also secured a deal to be the exclusive partner for the Brown Thomas luxury shoe business in Ireland. In 2007 Kurt Geiger entered into a joint venture franchise agreement with Landmark International with plans to open 30 stores across the Gulf region by 2012. 2007 also saw the company sign its first licensing deals with French Connection and Nicole Farhi.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained herein are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements regarding the Company's expected financial position, business and financing plans are forward-looking statements. The words "believes," "expect," "plans," "intends," "anticipates" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements also include representations of the Company's expectations or beliefs concerning future events that involve risks and uncertainties, including:
- those associated with the effect of national, regional and international
- lowered levels of consumer spending resulting from a general economic
downturn or lower levels of consumer confidence;
- the tightening of the credit markets and our ability to obtain credit on
- given the uncertain economic environment, the possible unwillingness of
committed lenders to meet their obligations to lend to borrowers, in
- the performance of the Company's products within the prevailing
- customer acceptance of both new designs and newly-introduced product
- the Company's reliance on a few department store groups for large
portions of the Company's business;
- consolidation of the Company's retail customers;
- financial difficulties encountered by customers;
- the effects of vigorous competition in the markets in which the Company
- the Company's ability to attract and retain qualified executives
and other key personnel;
- the Company's reliance on independent foreign manufacturers;
- changes in the costs of raw materials, labor, advertising and
- the general inability to obtain higher wholesale prices for the
Company's products that the Company has experienced for many years;
- the uncertainties of sourcing associated with an environment in which
general quota has expired on apparel products but litigation and
political activity seeking to re-impose quotas have been initiated;
- the Company's ability to successfully implement new operational and
financial computer systems; and
- the Company's ability to secure and protect trademarks and other
intellectual property rights.
A further description of these risks and uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, including, but not limited to, the Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Disclosure and Item 1A-Risk Factors therein, and in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such expectations may prove to be incorrect. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Jones Apparel Group, Inc.