High-end shoe retailer Kurt Geiger is expected to work with department store operator Debenhams for the first time after signing a deal with US shoe group Nine West.
The deal will give Kurt Geiger the licensing and distributing rights to the Nine West and Easy Spirit footwear brands, which are owned by Jones Apparel Group, in the UK and Ireland.
The seven-year agreement begins next year. Kurt Geiger has not had concessions in Debenhams stores before and it is understood the deal will lead to the first working partnership between the two.
Debenhams is the largest stockist of Nine West in the UK and had been dealing directly with the shoe brand following the end of a distribution deal with Shoe Studio – formerly part of Mosaic Group – which was bought out of administration by Dune in March. The Nine West brand was offloaded by the new owners as part of a wider strategy to rationalise its acquisition.
Previously Shoe Studio had operated 14 standalone stores in the UK but these have all been closed down now.
Kurt Geiger will also take advantage of the more favourable property deals that are emerging in the downturn and is searching for locations for new stores, including a new flagship that could open in spring next year.
The retailer will establish a team at its London head office to run Nine West and Easy Spirit, which have around 200 concessions in the UK and Ireland at present.
Kurt Geiger chief executive Neil Clifford said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the growth of Kurt Geiger and we are delighted to be welcoming Nine West and Easy Spirit to our portfolio.”