NEW YORK — Jantzen is reportedly close to a deal to make Nike women’s swimwear and related activewear.
The licensing agreement between Nike and Jantzen, a division of VF Corp., is expected to be announced prior to the Super Show, the big sporting goods and activewear trade show to be held Feb. 3-6 in Atlanta, sources said Thursday. Industry observers noted the agreement will enable Nike to go head-to-head with Authentic Fitness Corp.’s Speedo line, which is considered the leader in the competition swimwear market. Neither VF nor Nike officials could be reached for comment.
“Jantzen is a very well-recognized label. It has a strong position in the junior market with its Electric Beach line and is also a dominant label with department stores for its misses’ swimwear line,” said one swimwear company executive, a competitor of Jantzen. “Anything that they put their name on and their power behind can get a great deal of prominence.”
Nike currently produces a line of basic swimwear.
Sources also reported Jantzen, consistent with its strategy to refocus its efforts on its women’s swimwear and sportswear businesses, is close to signing a licensing deal with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp.’s Somerset Knitting Mills division under which Van Heusen will produce a line of Jantzen men’s knit shirts and sweaters. The line is expected to be launched for fall 1995.
Van Heusen is expected to market the brand in the same distribution channels that Jantzen occupies. Sources said the line will not be sold through Van Heusen’s own stores. Van Heusen officials also could not be reached.