PICKERINGTON, Ohio, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Accessory footwear marketer R.G. Barry Corporation (AMEX:DFZ), the Dearfoams(R) company, today announced it has entered into an exclusive 3-year North American licensing agreement with Nautica Apparel, Inc., a subsidiary of VF Sportswear, Inc., a division of VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC) to develop and market slippers for men, women and children under the Nautica(R) and J-Class(R) brands. Terms were not disclosed.
"Partnering with such an iconic American lifestyle brand is very exciting for us," said Greg Tunney, Chief Executive Officer and President of R.G. Barry Corporation. "The addition of Nautica(R) to our product lineup continues our long-term growth strategy of adding brands that are attractive to retailers and consumer segments where we see real growth potential."
"We are pleased to have R.G. Barry Corporation as our new partner," said Denise V. Seegal, President and CEO of VF Sportswear, Inc. "This is a new category for Nautica(R) and we look forward to building a mutually successful business together."
Added Pamela A. Gentile, R.G. Barry Corporation Senior Vice President Sales and Dearfoams(R) Brands President, "We think that the power of the Nautica(R) brands combined with our ability to design and source the world's best slippers will be attractive to many upper tier and premier retailers in North America."
"The classic styling attached to the Nautica(R) brands is particularly strong in the men's market, an area we believe has significant potential for our business. We also are attracted by the brand-loyal, lifestyle consumer that identifies with Nautica(R) and J-Class(R) products," she said.
The Company expects to introduce a line Nautica(R) men's slippers at retail later this year. The slippers will retail from $36-to-$48.
Smith to Lead Nautica(R) Licensed Business
In conjunction with licensing the Nautica(R) and J-Class(R) brands, the Company has named Susan M. Smith, Vice President Sales, overseeing the licensed brands. Ms. Smith most recently was a national accounts manager based in the R.G. Barry's New York City sales office. She is the former vice president of hosiery sales for Mallory & Church, LLC and previously held executive sales positions with American Essentials, Carolee Designs, Supreme International and Liz Claiborne. Smith is a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver.
About R.G. Barry Corporation
R.G. Barry Corporation, the Dearfoams(R) company, is among the world's leading developers and marketers of accessory footwear, a category that encompasses slippers, sandals, hybrid and active fashion footwear, slipper socks and hosiery. The Company's growing family of accessory footwear brands includes: Dearfoams(R), the world's most recognized slipper brand; Terrasoles(R), apres anything hybrid footwear; Superga(R), licensed canvas/active fashion footwear; NCAA-licensed My College Footwear(TM); DF Sport(R) and Dearfoams(R) NV active fashion footwear; Dearfoams Bliss(R), DF Men(R), DF Womens(R), EZfeet(R) and licensed Liz Claiborne(R) slippers.
R.G. Barry Corporation's products are sold worldwide through premier, traditional, promotional and national chain department stores, discount stores, warehouse clubs, outdoor stores, independent and specialty retailers, boutiques, supermarkets, catalogs and Internet retailers. The Company also supplies some of North America's leading retailers with footwear under their own private labels. To learn more, visit www.rgbarry.com.
About Nautica Enterprises
Founded in 1983, Nautica(R) is a leading global lifestyle brand ranging from men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories to a complete home collection. Nautica(R) products are refined casual classics inspired and energized by the water that are always crisp, clean and distinct. Today Nautica(R) is available in more than 64 countries with more than 190 Nautica(R) branded stores worldwide. In 2003, the Company was acquired by VF Corporation, a world leader in branded apparel, including sportswear, jeanswear, outdoor products, imagewear and contemporary brand products. Its principal brands include Lee(R), Wrangler(R), John Varvatos(R), JanSport(R), Eastpak(R), The North Face(R), Vans(R), Napapijri(R), Kipling(R), Reef(R), 7 For All Mankind(R) and lucy(R). For additional information, please go to www.nautica.com and www.vfc.com.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. Certain statements in this news release, which are not historical fact, are forward-looking statements, and are based upon information available to the Company on the date of this release. Our forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those currently anticipated. Factors that could cause or contribute to our actual results differing materially from those currently anticipated include our ability to successfully develop, supply and market Nautica(R) and J-Class(R) slippers and various other risks to our business previously detailed in our press releases, shareholder communications and Securities Exchange Act of 1934 filings, including those in the disclosure in "Item 1A -- Risk Factors" of Part I of our 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake to update the forward-looking statements contained in this news release to reflect new information that becomes available after the date hereof.
Source: R.G. Barry Corporation