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Cherokee Signs Exclusive Agreement to Represent Maui and Sons Inc.; Cherokee to Spearhead Maui and Sons Expansion in United States and Canada.

Business Editors/Fashion Writers

VAN NUYS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 26, 2000

Cherokee Inc. (Nasdaq:CHKE) today announced that it has signed an exclusive agreement to represent Maui and Sons Inc. to explore new strategies for expansion in the United States and Canada.

Maui and Sons was established in 1980 and has developed distribution channels in 84 countries under its Maui and Sons, Maui Girl and Maui Princess brand names. The products include casual sportswear for men, young men, women, juniors and children; accessories; beachwear; watches; and sunglasses and footwear, as well as sports, recreational and home products.

Robert Margolis, chairman and chief executive officer of Cherokee, added: "Combining our licensing strategies with Maui and Sons' distinctive 20-year-old heritage franchise should enable Maui and Sons to significantly increase its market share in North America.

"The Maui and Sons franchise today is much larger than the Sideout franchise was when we implemented our Sideout strategies, and within two years, Sideout sales in the U.S. alone will exceed $100 million. We are optimistic about Maui and Sons' prospects for the U.S. and Canada and are excited that we were able to reach an agreement to represent them."

Richard Harrington, chairman and CEO of Maui and Sons, stated: "Cherokee's dominant market position, unparalleled success and unique licensing strategies have intrigued our management for quite some time. Cherokee has developed a business template that is changing the landscape in retail America today.

"We are extremely pleased to join forces with Cherokee as we seek to expand our presence in the United States and Canada."

Stephen Ascher, founder of Sideout and executive vice president of Cherokee in charge of new business development, said: "We continue to expand our business worldwide through managing well-established brand equities we own or represent. We screen several companies weekly but we are very selective to chose only those that have well-known and underdeveloped consumer brands.

"So many companies are labels, not brands. Maui and Sons Inc. is a great brand that I have personally grown up with and I respect the power of that equity and we are proud to have been appointed to represent them."

Cherokee's announcement today follows the recent industry-rocking agreement it engineered between Target Stores Inc. (NYSE:TGT) and Mossimo Inc. (NYSE:MGX) using the Cherokee template. Last week, Cherokee also announced record earnings for fiscal 2000 and a new license agreement with DongKwang International Co. Ltd., to open Cherokee stores in Korea, beginning 2001.

Cherokee, based in Van Nuys, is a marketer, licensor and manager of a variety of brands it owns or represents and is continuing its negotiations for domestic and international licensing contracts covering multiple categories of merchandise. Cherokee currently has licensing agreements in many categories, including family apparel and fashion accessories, as well as luggage, cosmetics and footwear.

Statements included within this news release that are not historical in nature constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Statements included within this news release that are not historical in nature constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that this news release contains certain such forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. When used, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect" and similar expressions as they related to the company or its management are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. The company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Further management discussion of risks and uncertainties can be found in the company's quarterly filing with the Securities Exchange Commission and other periodic filings.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 26, 2000
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