DENIM DISH

SURF'S UP: GM Surf, the junior jeanswear line started by Georges Marciano, is expanding. The line has a new 800-square-foot boutique on the fourth floor of Macy's Herald Square flagship in New York, which will house all GM Surf merchandise, including the line's watch license, manufactured by Fossil.

LACING UP: The mass market denim brand Riders hit the ice this fall. Riders, a division of Lee Apparel, allocated 20 percent of its media buy to sponsor a women's professional figure skating championship that ends tonight. Called "The Riders Ladies Skating Championship," it is said to be the first professional ladies' skating series in the sport.
The finals, held in Boston, will be broadcast as part of holiday programming on CBS next month. As a sponsor, Riders apparel will be showcased through the commercials, during skaters' profiles, and on billboard and rink signs.

DEAN JEANS: What becomes a rebel icon most? A jeanswear license. The James Dean Foundation Trust, which controls the late movie star and teen idol's name, has signed a license with German manufacturer Adolf Ahlers AG to manufacture a line of jeanswear using Dean's name and likeness.
The line has only men's wear now, but a spokesman for the Trust said additional goods will be planned. The license allows for the manufacture of denim bottoms and nylon jackets using Dean's name. Production will be handled by a new subsidiary of Ahlers established solely for this license. The line is targeted to upscale retailers, and will wholesale from $35 to $50.
Ahlers, based in Herford, Germany, is a publicly owned men's wear company with an annual wholesale volume of over $300 million.

AUSTRALIAN OUTLOOK: Despite an uncertain retail outlook in general, Just Jeans, Australia's largest single brand specialty store, is confident it will be able to resume its earnings growth through 1996.
Just Jeans has almost 300 stores across Australia under the Just Jeans, Jay Jay and Jacqueline Eve name.
With reinvigorated earnings, the retailer would offset the lower earnings of the latest fiscal year, which ended in October, when group aftertax profit dipped 4 percent to $9.5 million ($12.6 million Australian), despite a 28 percent hike in sales to $237 million ($316 million Australian).
Chairman and managing director Craig Kimberley said that "with the initiatives undertaken in both Just Jeans [the group's traditional business] and women's wear retail chain Jacqueline Eve, which has sales of $35 million [Australian, $26 million U.S.]. I am positive about the group's prospects for 1995-96 and beyond."
In the annual report, Kimberley said he expects two recent acquisitions--the upscale women's chain Jacqueline Eve and the mass market chain Jay Jay's Warehouse--to contribute strongly to Just Jeans' overall growth.
Directors reported that the summer period was strong, but winter business was difficult. Among the problems were a fall in consumer interest and poor merchandising decisions at Just Jeans and Jacqueline Eve.
The company is now promoting itself aggressively as the "fit specialist" for jeans, and claims it can fit any shape or size.
Kimberley said Jay Jay's new jeanswear line is selling well, and will soon be augmented with related shirts and tops.
There are plans to open only seven new stores this year, compared with 20 in the fiscal year that ended in October. A new distribution center is being built and is expected to help the company achieve a faster and more efficient stock turn. The company will continue to invest in management information systems that will utilize computer technology and help cut costs.
In addition to its own brands, which include Oke and Ooh Mow Mao, Just Jeans carries two international labels exclusively, Wrangler and Edwin. Levi's, while not exclusive, is an important draw for the store, Kimberley said.

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