PVH HOLDS VAN HEUSEN INTL. RIGHTS
Byline: Arnold J. Karr
NEW YORK — In a move that unifies marketing of the Van Heusen brand internationally for the first time in its 80-year history, Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. has acquired rights to the label in Europe, Asia and throughout the Eastern Hemisphere from Coats Viyella PLC for approximately $17.5 million.
PVH has licensed the label back to Coats Viyella for use in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There are active licenses in other markets including Australia, Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Norway.
Emanuel Chirico, executive vice president and chief financial officer of PVH, said the firm expects current licensing arrangements to continue without interruption and for general licensing activity to expand. The cfo pointed out that the overseas licensees affected cumulatively operate about 25 stores, the majority of them in the U.K.
Chirico identified the U.K., India, Australia and certain Far Eastern markets as the strongest for the VH brand outside the U.S.
“The average Van Heusen shirt sells in the U.S. for $25 and in these other markets for between $45 and $50,” he commented. “The brand is well positioned and there are opportunities to build it several different ways.”
John Van Heusen developed the one-piece shirt collar in 1910. PVH’s predecessor company, Phillips-Jones, acquired rights to the patent in both North and South America in 1919, about the same time that Coats bought the patent for the rest of the world. The Van Heusen brand was launched in the U.S. as “The World’s Smartest Collar” in 1921.
Bruce Klatsky, chairman and chief executive of PVH, said in a statement, “This transaction enables us to continue the development of a global Van Heusen brand image and further the development of our expertise in global marketing of all our brands. Clearly, as borders cease to be trade barriers, global marketing will be a significant growth opportunity for our corporation.”