Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. continues to roll out its Izod brand internationally, signing a license deal with Weihai Dishang Fashion Brands Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Dishang Group, for an array of Izod product for the China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau markets.

The agreement anticipates that Weihai, China-based Dishang will establish more than 1,000 points of sale, including more than 500 freestanding Izod stores within the initial five-year term of the agreement, in addition to shop-in-shops. Dishang has already opened the first of four Izod stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Weihai and Xinzhuang as test units earlier this year.

“We are getting the shop concept right and the full launch will be in September,” said Kenneth Wyse, president of licensing at PVH.

Categories covered under the deal include men’s and women’s sportswear, footwear and accessories. PVH expects the Izod business to grow to more than $100 million in China, said Wyse.

The China license comes on the heels of an India and Middle East license with Bangalore, India-based Arvind Mills Ltd. announced by PVH in February. The Izod brand is now sold in 22 international markets and licensed to 31 companies.

Dishang Group is a vertical manufacturer that produces product for a wide array of brands, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, H&M, Zara, Levi’s, Lee, Disney and Bongo. Its annual revenue tops $750 million. The Izod deal is the first licensed Western brand that Dishang will bring to China.

“We are in a unique position to achieve substantial impact as we introduce Izod in this region,” said Zhu Li Hua, chief executive officer of Weihai Dishang Fashion Brands.

The Dishang deal comes following an earlier aborted license attempt with Hangzhou, China-based Hempel International Group in 2003. Negotiations between PVH and Hempel broke down the following year, and PVH used a distributor model for two years but decided to end that and seek a new license partner.

“The distribution agreement was too complicated. It’s important to have a local partner who is designing and manufacturing product specifically for China with the appropriate fits and styles,” explained Wyse.

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