As Target Corp. looks to refresh its clothing assortment, the Minneapolis-based retailer is giving one of its big, longtime brands the boot.
Apparel company Cherokee Global Brands disclosed on Thursday that Target will not renew its license once it expires on Jan. 31, 2017. The news, which was included in Cherokee’s second-quarter results, sent the brand’s shares tumbling more than 33 percent in after-hours trading.
Target later confirmed it was jettisoning the brand, which is responsible for about $1 billion of its approximately $73 billion in annual sales.
“Over the years, Target has worked with partners like Cherokee to build a reputation for providing our guests with high-quality, stylish products for a great value,” Stacia Andersen, Target’s senior vice president in charge of apparel and accessories, said in the statement. “As Target prioritizes signature categories, including kids and baby, we are looking at our business in new ways. We look forward to building on an already strong foundation, and are excited to introduce several new brands in the future.”
A Target spokesman did not have any other details about new brands.
Target has a licensing agreement with Cherokee but handles most of the design and sourcing of the product on its own. The Cherokee brand has been a fixture in Target stores, chiefly in children’s clothes, since 1997.
Cherokee also has a licensing agreement with Target for the Liz Lange maternity brand, but that partnership remains intact.
The move to drop Cherokee comes as Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell is working to breathe new life into Target’s so-called signature categories of style, baby, kids and wellness and to reclaim its cheap-chic reputation after losing some ground to other fast-fashion retailers.
In its most recent annual report, Cherokee said it received $15 million in royalties from Target in the last fiscal year, accounting for about 43 percent of its overall revenue. Cherokee also said then that the termination of its agreement with Target would have an “material adverse effect” on its business.
Henry Stupp, Cherokee’s chief executive, called Target a “great partner.” In a statement, he added, “Moving forward, Cherokee Global Brands is in a strong position to enter into new platform partnerships that will expand Cherokee’s presence in the U.S.”