It’s been a busy few months for Cherokee Global Brands.
After Target Corp. dropped its licensing deal with the company in September, Henry Stupp, chief executive officer, vowed to expand and strike deals with retailers and wholesalers who “have frequently expressed interest in the Cherokee brand based on its multicategory relevance and high consumer awareness.”
As a result, Cherokee inked a deal with Wal-Mart Canada for its Tony Hawk brand last week after partnering with Saborn Licensing Co. BV in Europe on its namesake brand at the end of September.
Today, the company said it acquired — for an undisclosed amount — specialty retailer Flip Flop Shops, which has more than 90 retail franchise units in the U.S. and Canada as well as in the Caribbean, Middle East and South Africa. There are also 100 additional stores “in development worldwide,” the company said. “Its locations carry definitive assortments of recognized brands including OluKai, Sanuk, Cobian, Havaianas, Quiksilver, Roxy, Reef and many more,” Cherokee said in a statement.
Symphony Investment Partners served as financial adviser on the deal. Management at Cherokee said it will expand the retailer via new franchises while also expanding product offerings to include brands from its own stable such as Cherokee, Tony Hawk and Everyday California.
“The acquisition of Flip Flop Shops aligns perfectly with the company’s strategic plan and is consistent with its zero-inventory, no manufacturing-risk business model,” Cherokee said. “As part of its growth strategy for Flip Flop Shops, Cherokee Global Brands will identify key partners through its relationships in Europe, Asia and Latin America and expand the retail concept and offerings through a combination of retail stores, shops-in-shop and mobile commerce in all existing and new markets.”
Stupp said today that the company’s goal “has always been to become the global leader in marketing, selling and distributing a balanced portfolio of brands. Through our acquisition of Flip Flop Shops, we will join the ranks of innovative specialty retailers that successfully operate similar concepts focused on products such as sunglasses and baseball hats.”
“Our mantra, ‘think like a retailer,’ has guided our business since inception,” Stupp explained. “With the acquisition of Flip Flop Shops, we now have the opportunity to ‘act like a retailer’ and expand our direct relationships with consumers in the process. We believe Flip Flop Shops will soon become the most recognized retail brand for flip-flops and casual footwear in the world.”
The license agreement with Wal-Mart Canada, which took effect last week is for a “broad assortment” of Tony Hawk-branded apparel, footwear and accessories for young men and boys. Tony Hawk said in a statement that he’s worked closely with “the team at Cherokee Global Brands to create a launch plan appropriate for the number-one retailer in Canada. In my many visits to Canada on skate tours, I am consistently humbled by the response that Canadians have given to me, the Tony Hawk brand and skateboarding in general.”
Regarding the Saborn deal, the partnership gives Saborn the rights on a wide assortment of apparel and accessories — for men, women and children — to be sold in a variety of channels in Western and Central Europe to include Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, among others. Product will launch in the fall of 2016.