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Cherokee Makes Inroads in Indonesia

The Sogo and Seibu subsidiaries of PT Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk, or MAP, have been named the exclusive licensees for the brand.

A SOGO department store.

The Sogo and Seibu subsidiaries of PT Mitra Adiperkasa Tbk, or MAP, have been named the exclusive licensees in Indonesia for Cherokee Inc.’s Cherokee brand.

This story first appeared in the August 6, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

MAP, which holds the rights to the Sogo and Seibu names and more than a dozen other retail and wholesale brands in Indonesia, has launched Cherokee-branded boys’, girls’ and baby apparel in its stores and will consider expanding the product range in subsequent seasons.

The collection includes jeans, shorts, pants, woven and knit tops, jackets and dresses designed by Cherokee’s merchandising staff. Cherokee also has developed marketing materials, including in-store fixtures and imagery, specifically for the new licensee.

With about 240 million people, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, just behind the U.S., and has a rapidly expanding middle class that accounts for 48 percent of its population, according to research from Nielsen Co.

“This is an extremely important market for us as we look to increase our penetration in Asia,” Henry Stupp, chief executive officer of Cherokee, told WWD. “It’s one of the fastest-growing markets in the world. The BRICS markets — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — get a lot of attention, but the MIST markets — Mexico, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand — are expanding rapidly. Our Mexican business has been fantastic all year. This gives us a presence in Indonesia and we’re making sure we’re going to be in Singapore and Thailand in the near future.”

The Cherokee brand is licensed in about 45 countries, including China, India and Japan.

Based in Jakarta, MAP operates 1,588 retail outlets in 56 Indonesian cities under names including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Topshop and Payless ShoeSource.

In the first half of 2013, MAP’s operating profit hit 314 billion rupiah, or $30.2 million at current exchange, on 4.38 trillion rupiah, or $422.2 million, in revenues. Nameplates added to its portfolio during the first six months of 2013 included Galeries Lafayette, Swarovski and Thomas Pink.

“Our success as a retailer is based upon a number of factors, including most importantly our partnerships with the world’s leading brands,” said Fannie Gozali, head of MAP’s apparel merchandising division. “Our partnership with Cherokee is no exception. Cherokee’s well-priced, style-focused lifestyle offerings fit perfectly with Sogo and Seibu’s target markets. We anticipate that the Cherokee brand will be readily accepted by our shoppers and look forward to a successful partnership.”