NexCen Announces 100-Store Deal with The Athlete's Foot
Franchisee Inks Plans to Grow Brand's Domestic Footprint
NEW YORK, Aug 03, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- NexCen Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEXC) ("NexCen") announced today that TAF MID-AMERICA ENTERPRISES, INC. ("TAF-MAE"), a domestic and international franchisee of The Athlete's Foot (TAF) for the last 17 years, has entered into a definitive 20-year agreement with NexCen to open a minimum of 100 additional TAF stores over the next 14 years. The minimum projected 100 stores marks a 16% increase over TAF's current worldwide store base, and represents an estimated $22 million in franchise fees, royalties and advertising contribution for NexCen over the next 20 years.
"I have always believed in the power of the TAF brand-its level of credibility on a global scale as well as its relevance in local communities," said John Park, CEO of TAF-MAE who currently owns 31 TAF stores in the United States and holds the master franchise agreement for South Korea that operates in excess of 40 stores. "I am particularly inspired by the new leadership of NexCen Brands, which is committing extraordinary resources to the growth of TAF. There is no question that NexCen is dedicated to providing tools to promote the success of franchise owners like me."
Mr. Park was present when NexCen Brands outlined its plans for the "next generation" of TAF, including an update of its in-store design, marketing and merchandizing efforts, and franchise support systems, at the company's Global Franchise Convention this past June.
"We are thrilled that John has recognized NexCen's commitment to the future of TAF and has chosen to invest in our vision," commented Robert W. D'Loren, President and CEO of NexCen Brands. "Our intent is that franchise owners like John benefit from the best-in-class resources we leverage across our brands. Our efforts in branding, merchandising, marketing, public relations, trendspotting and operational support are all geared toward helping our franchise owners perform at the highest level to build a win-win result for us, our franchisees, vendor partners and customers."
"John's deep understanding of the urban fashion environment, and his proven track record of successfully franchising TAF stores gives us full confidence that he will deliver unparalleled customer service and product selection in any new market he enters," said Robert D'Loren. "We have aggressive plans to grow the TAF footprint globally in coming years and this is an excellent first step."
The agreement with NexCen will grant TAF-MAE the exclusive rights to operate a premium athletic footwear and apparel store under the TAF brand. TAF-MAE will roll out its new stores in primarily urban locations within the U.S., with the first store expected to open in fall 2007.
About The Athlete's Foot
The Athlete's Foot(R) is the world's first franchisor of athletic footwear stores and is recognized today as the world leader in athletic footwear franchising. Robert and David Lando opened the first The Athlete's Foot store in 1971 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first athletic footwear specialty store of its kind in the United States. Soon thereafter, The Athlete's Foot began franchising domestically, with the first franchise store opening in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The first international franchise store opened in 1978 in Adelaide, Australia, the beginning of The Athlete's Foot expansion into over 45 countries. In June, 2007, NexCen Brands launched a global re- branding effort for TAF. Plans for reinvigorating the 36 year-old brand include an innovative new modular merchandising system, new in-store design, a modernized company logo, and a line of TAF branded apparel.
About NexCen Brands, Inc.
NexCen Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: NEXC) is the premier 21st century brand acquisition and management company focused on assembling a diversified portfolio of intellectual property (IP) centric companies operating in the consumer branded products and franchise industries. The Company owns, licenses, franchises and markets a growing portfolio of consumer and franchise brands including The Athlete's Foot(R), Bill Blass(R), MaggieMoo's(R), Marble Slab Creamery(R) and Waverly(R). The Company licenses and franchises its brands to a network of leading retailers, manufacturers and franchisees that touch every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in the U.S. and in over 45 countries around the world and consists of in excess of 1,150 of its own franchised stores. NexCen, through its information technology (IT) and franchisee support systems and advertising, marketing and public relations team, markets its brands to continually drive greater consumer awareness and brand equity for each of its brands. NexCen touches nearly every aspect of a consumer's lifestyle from the food they eat to the furnishings in their homes and the clothes and footwear they purchase.
Forward-Looking Statement Disclosure
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," as such term is used in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements include those regarding expectations for the development of the new IP strategy business, expectations for the performance of The Athlete's Foot. When used herein, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "may," "will," "expect" and similar expressions as they relate to the Company or its management are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. They are not guarantees of future performance or results. The Company's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from the results expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements, including the estimates and expectations regarding future revenues and operating margins contained in this press release. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include: (1) we may not be successful in implementing the new IP strategy, (2) we may not be successful in operating or expanding The Athlete's Foot or integrating the acquisitions into our IP business strategy, (3) risks associated with marketing and franchising our acquired trademarks and with successfully developing, marketing, licensing or franchising new products or concepts particularly in light of rapidly changing market trends (4) risks associated with the ability of franchisees to successfully market and sell under The Athlete's Foot trademarks, and (5) other factors discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. NexCen undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE NexCen Brands, Inc.
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