Kohl’s Department Stores will launch Candie’s as a private lifestyle brand in the Fall of 2005, with exclusivity in all the product categories for the North American market - including footwear and apparel, but excluding optical products - from the Fall of 2006 onwards. The deal with Candie’s includes its own e-commerce site, Kohls.com. Steven Madden, which had signed a licensing agreement with Candie’s for footwear in May 2003, will continue to develop the line, offering it also to other retailers until the end of 2006, but beginning in 2007, it will make it available only to Kohl’s in North America.

Candie’s is completing the process of transforming itself from a footwear and jeanswear company into a multi-brand licensing and management business. It signed a jeans license for its Bongo brand last August with TKO Apparel, which is set to handle also its Unzipped Apparel brand. Candie’s has bought another brand, Badgley Mischka, with the intention to license it out to various specialists as well.

The transformation is affecting the company’s financial performance in a positive manner. Candie’s has reported consolidated net income of $603,000 for the 3rd quarter ended Oct. 31 against a loss of $1.9 million in the same period a year ago. While licensing income grew by 50.7 percent to $2.7 million, operating expenses declined by 31.2 percent to $4.8 million. Similarly, the results for the first nine months of the current financial year show a net profit of $1.2 million as compared to a loss of $4.9 million. Candie’s has decided to change its fiscal year to make it coincide with the calendar year, aligning its financial report with that of its licensees.