Xcel Brands announces new, exclusive licensing agreement with Stars Design Group to manufacture its menswear collections


NEW YORK, 2017-Oct-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Xcel Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:XELB), a leading retail innovator, announced today (Oct. 05, 2017) a new, exclusive licensing agreement with Stars Design Group, Inc. to manufacture its menswear collections. Concurrent with this appointment, Neal Kusnetz will serve as President of Menswear for Xcel Brands, where he will oversee the licensing and growth of Menswear for Xcel.  Mr. Kusnetz will also serve as President of Stars Design Group’s Men’s Retail Division where he will oversee sales efforts for the company under Xcel’s brands. Together, these advancements position Xcel Brands for new growth opportunities by providing new and iconic branding in menswear apparel to retailers.

“We are enthusiastic about the growth of Menswear at Xcel Brands, and are confident in the expertise of both Stars Design Group and Neal Kusnetz to accelerate our success in this category,” commented Robert D’Loren, Chairman and CEO of Xcel Brands. “We’re pleased to be working with a cutting-edge manufacturer like Stars Design Group, and we’re confident that Neal’s background in unifying media and retail into singular brand experiences will help drive new solutions for our retail partners.”

An industry leader with over twenty years of experience in design and global production for apparel brands in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Stars Design Group will manage the production of Xcel Brands’ menswear collections for the H Halston and Highline Collective brands, both of which are currently available exclusively at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Xcel Brands, which is recognized throughout the retail industry for its strong brands, innovative business model, and forward thinking approach that creates truly seamless shopping experiences,” commented Bret Schnitker, CEO and President of Stars Design Group. “We are encouraged by the success that Xcel has achieved to date and the positive impact this particular strategy has had on the bottom line for retail partners.”

Neal Kusnetz will leverage over two decades of experience in fashion and retail to oversee the expansion of menswear at Xcel. Prior to joining Xcel Brands, Mr. Kusnetz was Partner and Senior Advisor of The Convergence Lab, a business development, R&D and consultancy think-tank focused on the convergence of technology, media and retail. Earlier, Mr. Kusnetz co-founded Robert Graham, the luxury men’s lifestyle and fashion brand, and served as the brand’s President for nearly 15 years.

“I was drawn to the Xcel Brands and Stars partnership because of its innovative, forward-thinking approach to apparel and retail, which aligned so well with my background,” said Neal Kusnetz, President of Menswear at Xcel Brands. “I’m excited to join a team that’s disrupting the way retail does business, and I’m looking forward to expanding its reach and distribution in menswear.”

With the addition of Mr. Kusnetz and the new licensing agreement with Stars Design Group, Xcel Brands will continue to meet growing consumer demand for unique, high-value fashionable menswear. Xcel’s innovative business model generates $500 million in retail sales across all of its distribution channels.

ABOUT XCEL BRANDS, INC. (www.xcelbrands.com)
Xcel Brands, Inc. (NASDAQ:XELB) is a brand management and media company engaged in the design, production, licensing, marketing and direct-to-consumer sales of branded apparel, footwear, accessories, jewelry, home goods, and other consumer products, and the acquisition of dynamic consumer lifestyle brands. Xcel was founded by Robert W. D’Loren in 2011 with a vision to reimagine shopping, entertainment and social as one. Xcel owns and manages the Isaac Mizrahi, Judith Ripka, H Halston, C. Wonder and Highline Collective brands, pioneering an omnichannel sales strategy which includes the promotion and sale of products under its brands through direct-response television, internet, brick and mortar retail, and e-commerce channels. Headquartered in New York City, Xcel Brands is led by an executive team with significant production, merchandising, design, marketing, retailing, and licensing experience, and a proven track record of success in elevating branded consumer products companies. With a team of over 100 professionals focused on design, production, and digital marketing, Xcel maintains control of product quality and promotion across all of its product categories and distribution channels. Xcel differentiates by design.

ABOUT STARS DESIGN GROUP, INC. (www.starsdesigngroup.com)
Stars Design Group, Inc. founded in 2000, is a global full-service apparel manufacturing group specializing in leading technologies to support clients from design, product development, production to delivery. Stars partners Bret Schnitker, Gerry Leonard, and John Seramur lead the global management team that combined have over 100 years of experience in apparel design, manufacturing and finance. The uniquely balanced approach of innovative virtually real 3D Design services, comprehensive fabric and trim libraries in multiple classifications, in depth knowledge of technical fit, constructions, dyeing, finishing and assembly, hands on production experience, comprehensive quality control, full logistics and in-house customs brokerage ensure consistent execution on multiple fronts. In addition, the production footprint of over 67 factories in 14 countries enables Stars Design Group to effectively manage broad classifications of apparel to meet the objectives and demands of the current marketplace.

Media Contact:
Eleana Collins
410.367.2700 ext. 127

Source: Xcel Brands, Inc./globenewswire

Starbucks Coffee Company signs licensing agreement with Alsea to develop and operate Starbucks® stores in Uruguay

SEATTLE and MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, 2017-Jun-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today (June 26, 2017) announced a new licensing agreement with its long-time strategic partner Alsea, a leading restaurant operator in Latin America and Spain. The agreement grants Alsea the exclusive rights to develop and operate Starbucks® stores in Uruguay, with the first store set to open in early 2018 in Montevideo. Starbucks and Alsea have worked together since 2002, now serving millions of customers in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia in 841 Starbucks® stores and employing more than 10,500 Starbucks partners (employees). Uruguay will become the fifth market in this partnership, and Starbucks 18th market in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the Starbucks Experience to customers in Uruguay – a critical emerging market as we continue our expansion across South America,” said Ricardo Rico, general manager and vice president for Starbucks Latin America. “As we position the brand for continued growth, Alsea continues to be an invaluable strategic partner in the region as we pursue disciplined and profitable growth in a way that celebrates local cultures and coffee traditions.”

Alsea, a leading restaurant operator of global brands in the quick service, coffee shop, casual and family dining segments, has a diversified portfolio including Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza, Burger King, Chili’s, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, Italianni’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Vips, El Portón, Archie’s, Foster’s Hollywood, LAVACA and Cañas y Tapas. The company operates more than 3,200 stores and has more than 67,000 employees in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Spain. The new agreement with Starbucks also represents Alsea’s first foray into Uruguay, representing a critical business opportunity in a new South American market.

“I am pleased to announce the entry of Alsea into a new market such as Uruguay, which allows us to continue with our solid growth strategy, reinforcing the presence of our brands in the region,” said Federico Tejado, Chief Executive Officer of Alsea International. “We will build on our knowledge of the Starbucks brand, which we have operated for 15 years now and of which we currently have 841 stores operating in four countries.”

For more than 45 years, Starbucks has built its brand by delivering a consistent, authentic in-store experience to customers around the globe that is rooted in high-quality arabica coffee and engaged, knowledgeable baristas. Since launching the brand in Latin America, Starbucks has grown to over 1,100 stores employing more than 13,000 partners (employees) across 16 markets, 15 of which are operated by trusted licensing partners. Starbucks will open next in Jamaica in the fall of 2017, and Uruguay in early 2018.

About Alsea

Alsea is the leading restaurant operator in Latin America and Spain of global brands in the quick service, coffee shop, casual and family dining segments. It has a diversified portfolio, with brands such as Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, Burger King, Chili’s, California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, Italianni’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Vips, El Portón, Archie’s, Foster’s Hollywood, LAVACA and Cañas y Tapas. The company operates more than 3,200 units and has more than 67,000 employees in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Spain. Alsea’s business model includes support for its brands through a Shared Services Center that provides all the Administrative and Development Processes, as well as the Supply Chain. For more information, visit: www.alsea.com.mx

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 26,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at news.starbucks.com and Starbucks.com.

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation


Phone: 206 318 7100
Email: press@starbucks.com



Office Depot enters exclusive licensing agreement with Centriq Technology to develop unique business application

BOCA RATON, Fla. & SAN FRANCISCO, 2017-Jun-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ:ODP), a leading provider of office products, services, and solutions, announced it is entering into an exclusive licensing agreement with Centriq Technology, Inc., to develop a unique business application utilizing their award-winning asset management platform.

“This exclusive agreement with Centriq is the first step in showing that we are moving toward a strategic transformation of our company outside of the traditional retail model,” said Gerry Smith, chief executive officer of Office Depot, Inc. “Centriq’s unique technology platform has many applications and we will leverage that technology to provide new services and an interactive sales experience for our customers beyond the traditional modes of selling paper, ink and toner.”

Centriq’s current application was named a game-changer as a home management resource. Centriq Home, available for iOS and Android, connects homeowners to product manufacturers for a greatly improved product experience. Centriq creates a single, comprehensive and personalized user guide for everything in their home. Support content, troubleshooting and parts and accessories purchases are available with a simple click. Users are also able to get rapid, on-site help from top-rated professionals, and access specific, highly relevant content from the Emmy-winning series, “This Old House” and “Ask This Old House,” directly through the app.

Office Depot will work with Centriq to develop a business to business version of their current app that will enable businesses to better manage their assets whether it be a printer, PC or another device all in one place. “The benefit for businesses is efficient management of their assets and retention of that knowledge all in the palm of their hand,” added Smith. “Through game-changing applications like this, we will differentiate Office Depot and provide value for our customers.”

“We couldn’t imagine a better partner than Office Depot for Centriq,” said James Sheppard, co-founder of Centriq. “We are delighted that they are licensing our core technology for their exciting vision to transform their business and industry.” Office Depot will also be a minority investor in Centriq, as it seeks to leverage emerging technologies to bring innovative solutions to the millions of small, medium and large customers it services today.

About Centriq:

Centriq is an early stage technology company that was founded in January 2015 by former digital innovation executives from Salesforce.com who were tired of the hassles of being a homeowner. Centriq is privately funded and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit www.centriqhome.com for more information, and download the free app on Google Play or the App Store.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc. is a leading provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car.

The company had 2016 annual sales of approximately $11 billion, employed approximately 38,000 associates, and served consumers and businesses in North America and abroad with approximately 1,400 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – with a global network of wholly owned operations, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax and Grand & Toy. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and Highmark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “ODP.”

Office Depot is a trademark of The Office Club, Inc. OfficeMax is a trademark of OMX, Inc. ©2017 Office Depot, Inc. All rights reserved. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

AnneMarie Mathews
Media Relations

Centriq Technology, Inc.
James Sheppard
Media Relations

Source: Office Depot, Inc.