G-III designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of outerwear, sportswear and accessories, including coats, jackets and pants, as well as women’s suits and dresses. We sell our products under licensed brands, our own proprietary brands and private retail labels. We provide high quality apparel under recognized brands to a cross section of leading retailers such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney and Kohl’s. The Company also operates 121 retail stores, of which 119 are outlet stores operated under the Wilsons Leather name. We distribute our products through a diverse mix and a large number of retailers at a variety of price points, as well as through our own retail stores.
We have expanded our portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands over the past 15 years through acquisitions and by entering into license agreements for new brands or for additional products under previously licensed brands. We have made five acquisitions since July 2005, which have helped to broaden our product offerings, expand our ability to serve different tiers of distribution and add a retail component to our business.
In July 2005, we acquired the business of Marvin Richards and the operating assets of Winlit Group, Ltd. As a result of the Marvin Richards acquisition, we added licenses for men’s and women’s outerwear under the Calvin Klein brand name and acquired Marvin Richards’ own proprietary labels. As a result of acquiring Winlit’s assets, we added licenses for men’s and women’s outerwear under the Guess? brand, women’s outerwear under the Ellen Tracy brand and men’s leather outerwear under the Tommy Hilfiger brand. We also acquired Winlit’s own proprietary labels. In addition, we added significant management, merchandising, manufacturing and design expertise as a result of these two acquisitions.
In May 2007, we acquired the operating assets of Jessica Howard Ltd. Jessica Howard designs and markets moderate and better dresses, under the proprietary Jessica Howard and Eliza J brands, as well as under private label programs.
The acquired Jessica Howard dress operations expanded and complemented our dress business which began shipping under the Calvin Klein label for the Fall 2006 season. We believe that our expanded dress capabilities will assist us in seeking additional dress licenses. We added to our dress business in July 2007 when we expanded our license with Ellen Tracy to include dresses and in July 2008 when we entered into a new license agreement to design and distribute dresses under the Jessica Simpson label. We also intend to grow the existing Jessica Howard and Eliza J brands and expand private label programs to further develop our dress business.
In February 2008, we acquired Andrew Marc, a supplier of fine outerwear and handbags for both men and women to upscale specialty and department stores. As a result of this acquisition, we added Andrew Marc and Marc New York as additional company-owned brands and Levi’s and Dockers as additional licensed brands. We believe that the Andrew Marc brand can be leveraged into a variety of new categories to become a meaningful lifestyle brand. During the past year, we entered into agreements to license the Andrew Marc and Marc New York brands for women’s footwear and men’s accessories.
In July 2008, we acquired certain assets of Wilsons The Leather Experts, which had been a national retailer of outerwear and accessories. The assets acquired included 116 retail outlet store leases, inventory, distribution center operations and the Wilsons name and other related trademarks and trade names.
Our acquisitions are part of our strategy to expand our product offerings and increase the portfolio of proprietary and licensed brands that we offer through different tiers of retail distribution. We believe that both Andrew Marc and the Wilsons retail outlet business leverage our core strength in outerwear and provide us with new avenues for growth. We also believe that these acquisitions complement our other licensed brands, G-III owned brands and private label programs.
We added the Dockers and Levi’s licensed brands in February 2008 as a result of our acquisition of Andrew Marc. In July 2007, we expanded our women’s outerwear license with Ellen Tracy to include dresses and suits. Dresses commenced deliveries for the Spring 2008 season and suits are planned to begin limited shipping for the Fall 2009 season. We also expanded our relationship with Calvin Klein by adding a license for women’s performance wear in December 2007 and for women’s better sportswear in August 2008. These licenses are in addition to our licenses for Calvin Klein women’s outerwear, men’s outerwear, dresses and women’s suits. We began limited shipments of women’s performance wear for the Spring 2008 season and expanded distribution for the Fall 2008 season. We began shipping women’s better sportswear for the Spring 2009 season.
Selling products under well-known licensed brands is an important part of our strategy. We have licenses to produce branded fashion apparel, including under the Calvin Klein, Sean John, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Guess?, Jones New York, Jessica Simpson, Nine West, Ellen Tracy, House of Deréon, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s and Dockers brands. We also have sports licenses with the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Touch by Alyssa Milano and over 100 U.S. colleges and universities.
We work with a diversified group of retailers, such as Macy’s, JC Penney and Kohl’s, in developing private label product lines. We also produce apparel under our own proprietary brands, including Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Marvin Richards, Jessica Howard, Eliza J, Black Rivet, Siena Studio, Tannery West, G-III by Carl Banks and Winlit.
We operate our business in three segments, licensed apparel, non-licensed apparel and retail operations. The licensed apparel segment includes sales of apparel brands licensed by us from third parties. The non-licensed apparel segment principally includes sales of apparel under our own brands and private label brands. The retail segment consists almost entirely of the Wilsons retail outlet stores we acquired in July 2008, now operating as AM Retail Group, Inc. We had an insignificant retail operation prior to the Wilsons acquisition. See Note N to our Consolidated Financial Statements for financial information with respect to these segments.
We are a Delaware corporation that was formed in 1989. We and our predecessors have conducted our business since 1974.
We believe that our broad portfolio of high-profile brands combined with our extensive distribution relationships position us for growth. We intend to capitalize on the following competitive strengths in order to achieve our goal of creating an all-season diversified apparel company:
Broad portfolio of recognized brands. We have built a broad and deep portfolio of over 30 licensed and proprietary brands. We believe we are a licensee of choice for well-known brands that have built a loyal following of both fashion-conscious consumers and retailers who desire high quality, well designed apparel. We have selectively added the licensing rights to premier brands in women’s, men’s and sports categories catering to a wide range of customers. In an environment of rapidly changing consumer fashion trends, we benefit from a balanced mix of well-established and newer brands. In addition to our licensed brands, we own several successful proprietary brands, including Andrew Marc and Marc New York. Our experience in developing and acquiring licensed brands and proprietary labels, as well as our reputation for producing high quality, well-designed apparel, has led major department stores and retailers, including Macy’s, JC Penney and Kohl’s to select us as a designer and manufacturer
Diversified distribution base. We market our products at multiple price points and across multiple channels of distribution, allowing us to provide products to a broad range of consumers, while reducing our reliance on any one demographic segment, merchandise preference or distribution channel. Our products are sold to approximately 2,700 customers, including a cross section of leading retailers such as Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney and Kohl’s, and membership clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club. As a result of our broad distribution platform, we are a licensee and supplier of choice and can more easily adapt to changes in the retail environment. We believe our strong relationships with retailers have been established through many years of personal customer service and adherence to meeting or exceeding retailer expectations. Our Wilsons retail outlet stores provide an additional distribution network for our outerwear products.
Superior design, sourcing and quality control. Our in-house design and merchandising team of approximately 125 professionals designs substantially all of our licensed, proprietary and private label products. Our designers work closely with our licensors and private label customers to create designs and styles that represent the look they want. We believe that our creative design team and our sourcing expertise give us an advantage in product development. We have a network of worldwide suppliers that allows us to negotiate competitive terms without relying on any single vendor. In addition, we employ a 45-person quality control team and a 34-person sourcing group in China to ensure the quality of our products. We believe we have developed a significant customer following and positive reputation in the industry as a result of our design capabilities, sourcing expertise, on-time delivery and high standards of quality control.
Leadership position in the outerwear wholesale business. As one of the largest outerwear wholesalers, we are widely recognized within the apparel industry for our high-quality and well-designed products. We believe that our acquisition of Andrew Marc should reinforce our leadership position in the outerwear business. Our knowledge of the outerwear business and our industry-wide reputation provide us with an advantage when we are competing for outerwear licenses and private label business. Our expertise and reputation in designing, manufacturing and marketing outerwear have enabled us to build strong customer relationships and to expand into women’s suits, dresses and other product categories.
Experienced management team. Our executive management team has extensive experience in the apparel industry. Morris Goldfarb, our Chief Executive Officer and son of our founder, has been with us for 35 years, Jeanette Nostra, our President, has been with us for over 25 years, and Wayne S. Miller, our Chief Operating Officer, has been with us for over ten years. In 2005, we added significant management, merchandising, manufacturing and design expertise as a result of our acquisition of the Marvin Richards and Winlit businesses. The principals of those businesses, Sammy Aaron and David Winn, each have more than 25 years experience in the apparel industry.
Products — Development and Design
G-III designs, manufactures and markets women’s and men’s apparel at a wide range of retail sales prices. Our product offerings primarily include outerwear, women’s suits and dresses, and sportswear, including coats, jackets, pants and skirts. We also market accessories including women’s handbags and men’s carrying cases. We sell products under licensed brands, our own brands and private retail labels.
G-III’s licensed apparel consists of both men’s and women’s products. Our strategy is to seek licenses that will enable us to offer a range of products targeting different price points and different distribution channels.
G-III’s proprietary branded apparel also consists of both men’s and women’s products. The Andrew Marc line of women’s and men’s luxury outerwear is sold to upscale department and specialty retail stores. The Marc NY line of women’s and men’s better priced outerwear is sold to upper tier stores. The Black Rivet, Tannery West, Marvin Richards and Winlit lines of women’s apparel consist of moderately priced women’s outerwear and sportswear. Products in our men’s outerwear lines, primarily consisting of leather outerwear, are sold under the G-III, Tannery West and Winlit labels. Siena Studio, our bridge-priced lines of women’s leather and textile apparel, primarily consist of jackets, skirts and related sportswear separates. The Jessica Howard label is a moderate price dress line that sells to department stores, specialty stores and catalogs. Eliza J is a better dress line that sells to better department and specialty stores.
We also work with a diversified group of retail chains, such as Macy’s, Express, JC Penney and Kohl’s, in developing product lines sold under their own proprietary private labels. We meet frequently with department and specialty chain store buyers who custom order products by color, fabric and style. These buyers may provide samples to us or may select styles already available in our showrooms. We believe we have established a reputation among these buyers for our ability to produce high quality product on a reliable, expeditious and cost-effective basis.
Our in-house designers are responsible for the design and look of our licensed and non-licensed products. We work closely with our licensors to create designs and styles for each of our licensed brands. Licensors generally must approve products to be sold under their brand names prior to production. We respond to style changes in the apparel industry by maintaining a continuous program of style, color, leather and fabric selection. In designing new products and styles, we attempt to incorporate current trends and consumer preferences. We seek to design products in response to trends in consumer preferences, rather than attempt to create new market trends and styles.
Our design personnel meet regularly with our sales and merchandising department, as well as with the design and merchandising staffs of our licensors, to review market trends, sales results and the popularity of our latest products. In addition, our representatives regularly attend trade and fashion shows and shop at fashion forward stores in the United States, Europe and the Far East. Our designers present sample items along with their evaluation of the styles expected to be in demand in the United States. We also seek input from selected customers with respect to product design. We believe that our sensitivity to the needs of retailers, coupled with the flexibility of our production capabilities and our continual monitoring of the retail market, enables us to modify designs and order specifications in a timely fashion.