Cherokee Opens on China’s Tmall.com

Licensee RT-Mart to supplement brand’s presence in 221 stores.

RT-Mart, the licensee for the Cherokee brand in China, has opened a Cherokee online store on Tmall.com, China’s largest e-commerce Web site.

RT-Mart is a unit of Sun Art Retail Group, the largest hypermarket operator in China. Since being granted the license for the Cherokee brand by Cherokee Inc., the Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based brand-management firm, in 2010, it has placed Cherokee products in 221 of its 274 brick-and-mortar hypermarkets around the country.

“Now, with an online Cherokee flagship store, we will be able to expand our customer base as we continue to enhance and grow the Cherokee brand in China,” said Peter Huang, president of RT-Mart.

Founded in 2008 and separated from the consumer-to-consumer platform to address business-to-consumer transactions in 2011, Tmall.com features such international apparel brands as Gap, Levi’s, Uniqlo and Adidas. Its 2012 apparel sales are estimated to be about $9 billion.

“RT-Mart is an exceptional brick-and-mortar retail partner, and Tmall is a clear leader in China’s Internet retail space,” said Henry Stupp, chief executive officer of Cherokee, who lauded the site’s ability to “enable us to interact directly with Chinese consumers’ needs while simultaneously positioning the Cherokee brand for long-term growth.”

Licensed to and sold by Target in the U.S., the Cherokee brand is carried by licensees in more than 40 countries, including the U.K., Canada, South Africa, India, Japan and Russia.

In addition to its namesake brand, Cherokee owns Sideout, Carole Little and, following their acquisition from Bluestar Alliance last September, Liz Lange and its Completely Me affiliate. Earlier this month, the company said it had struck a deal to represent Alé by Alessandra, a line created and owned by Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio that will be directed to midtier retailers beginning with efforts in Latin America.

Collectively, Cherokee’s brands generate about $2 billion in annual retail sales globally. Its royalty revenues for the year ended Jan. 28, 2012, were $25.6 million.