Wal-Mart Signs Exclusive Deal For Ocean Pacific Op

Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 by Women’s Wear Daily

Adding Ocean Pacific to its apparel offerings is a boost for Wal-Mart, which has been struggling with fashion, especially on the women’s side. The Ocean Pacific and Op deal covers a broad range of apparel and accessories, and is expected to launch in Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. in the spring. It’s a step in Wal-Mart’s strategy to get shoppers to “cross the aisle” from groceries, its largest single business, to soft goods and perhaps an acknowledgement it cannot do it with in-house brands alone.

“Op is a youth brand focused on the surf lifestyle,” said a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “It will help expand the range of our apparel offering as we leverage the brand equity to address this growth lifestyle.”

“We are excited that the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, will now bring this global brand to the broadest audience of consumers in its history,” Neil Cole, chairman and chief executive officer of Iconix, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to working with Wal-Mart to continue to develop Ocean Pacific into a year-round lifestyle brand that we are confident will resonate deeply with the Wal-Mart customer.”

Iconix granted distribution rights to Wal-Mart for the U.S., Brazil, China and India. The agreement provides for opportunities in other countries in the future.