Cherokee Expands China Presence with Launch of e-commerce Flagship Store on Tmall.com

Cherokee Inc. (NASDAQ: CHKE), a global marketer of style-focused lifestyle brands, announced today that through its partnership with RT Mart, one of the leading and fastest growing retailers in China, that it has launched an online Cherokee store on China’s largest e-commerce website, Tmall.com. Cherokee will join the ranks of Gap, UNIQLO, Adidas, Levi’s and many other leading brands who have all opened retail storefronts on Tmall.com.

Cherokee Storefront on Tmall.com (Photo: Business Wire)

Cherokee Storefront on Tmall.com (Photo: Business Wire)

Tmall.com, formerly Taobao Mall, provides a platform for local Chinese and International businesses to sell quality, brand name goods to consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Apparel has long been one of the top-selling categories on Tmall.com. In 2012, Tmall.com’s total apparel sales reached approximately $9 billion.

Cherokee’s affordable fashion lifestyle products were first introduced in China by RT Mart in April 2010 and are currently featured in 221 RT Mart stores throughout the country. RT Mart now joins other leading retailers leveraging the fast growing e-commerce movement in China by offering Cherokee men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel online at http://cherokee.tmall.com. Additional categories may be added to the online flagship storefront in the future.

Cherokee lifestyle-branded products are sold in over 40 countries worldwide with global retail sales approaching $2 billion. This success has in large part been driven by retail partners, like RT Mart, that focus on the regional requirements and needs of their consumers. Cherokee and RT Mart have identified that in order to address the ever-changing and developing Chinese consumer’s needs it is essential that they offer an e-commerce solution that provides affordable, high-quality products to consumers of all ages.

“The expansion with Tmall.com is another exciting step in the evolution towards establishing the Cherokee brand amongst Chinese consumers,” said Henry Stupp, Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee. “RT Mart is an exceptional brick-and-mortar retail partner and Tmall is a clear leader in China’s internet retail space. Their combined efforts, along with Cherokee’s top-quality, affordable lifestyle products, will enable us to interact directly with Chinese consumers as well as quickly respond to our Chinese consumers’ needs while simultaneously positioning the Cherokee brand for long-term growth.”

RT Mart President, Peter Huang, furthered Mr. Stupp’s sentiments. “The launch of the Cherokee online flagship store on Tmall.com is a very important milestone for both RT Mart and Cherokee. Since its launch in our stores in 2010, the Cherokee brand has been a great success, providing the Chinese consumer with truly differentiated, casual, comfortable products that stand apart from clothing lines sold in other hypermarkets. Now with an online Cherokee flagship store we will be able to expand our customer base as well as continue to enhance and grow the Cherokee brand in China.”

About Cherokee Inc.

Cherokee Inc. is a global marketer and manager of a portfolio of Fashion and Lifestyle brands including Cherokee®, Carole Little®, Liz Lange® and Sideout®, in multiple consumer product categories and sectors around the world. The Company's annual global retail sales of owned brands are approaching $2 billion with license agreements with premier retailers and manufacturers covering over 40 countries around the world including Target Stores (U.S.), Tesco (U.K., Ireland and certain Central European countries), Zellers (Canada), RT-Mart (Peoples Republic of China), Pick ‘n Pay (South Africa), Falabella (Chile, Peru and Colombia), Arvind Mills (India and certain Middle Eastern countries), Shufersal LTD.(Israel), Comercial Mexicana (Mexico), Eroski (Spain), Nishimatsuya (Japan), Magnit (Russia), Landmark Group’s Max Stores (certain Middle East and North Africa countries), and the TJX Companies (U.S., Canada and Europe).

About RT Mart

Sun Art Retail Group Limited is the largest and fastest growing hypermarket operator in China in terms of sales in 2011 and market share increases from 2008 to 2011, respectively. Currently, the Company operates hypermarket business under two well-recognized banners “Auchan” and “RT-Mart.”

The nationwide footprint of the Company in China covers first-tier cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, suburban areas in first-tier cities, as well as populous second- and lower-tier cities such as Nanjing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Hefei, Dongguan, Wuhan, Changde, Shenyang, Mudanjiang, Xi'an and Lanzhou and in the suburban areas in first-tier cities. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 274 hypermarket complexes across 24 out of 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China.

About Tmall.com

China's leading B2C shopping destination for quality, brand-name goods launched by Taobao in April 2008, Tmall.com (www.tmall.com) is an online shopping landmark in China with an extensive brand selection. An open business-to-consumer (B2C) platform, Tmall.com has established itself as the destination for quality, brand-name goods catering to increasingly sophisticated Chinese consumers and is the most visited B2C online retail website in China. In June 2011, it was separated from Taobao’s consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace and became an independent platform.

Tmall.com currently features major multinational Chinese brands. It offers several product categories each with tailored customer service, including the Consumer electronics mall; the Book mall; the Home Furnishing mall; the Designer Footwear mall; and the Beauty mall. Brands with flagship retail storefronts on Tmall.com include UNIQLO, L’Oreal, Adidas, P&G, Unilever, Gap, Ray-Ban, Nike and Levi's.

Tmall.com and Taobao Marketplace set a record for highest single-day transaction volume during a special promotion on November 11, 2012, facilitating the sales of goods totaling RMB19.1 billion (US$3.1 billion) on the day. In 2012, the combined gross merchandise volume (GMV) of the two platforms exceeded RMB1 trillion (US$ 158 billion). Tmall.com is a business within Alibaba Group.

Statements included within this news release may contain forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used, the words “anticipates”, “believes”, “expects”, “may”, “should” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included in this press release (including, without limitation, express or implied statements regarding potential future business development) involve known and unknown risk and uncertainties that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties, include, but are not limited to, the effect of global economic conditions, the financial condition of the apparel and retail industry, adverse changes in licensee or consumer acceptance of products bearing the Company’s brands the ability and/or commitment of the Company’s licensees to design, manufacture and market Cherokee, Liz Lange, Completely Me, Sideout and Carole Little branded products, the Company’s dependence on Target for most of the Company’s revenues and the Company’s dependence on its key management personnel. The risks included here are not exhaustive. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for Fiscal Year 2012, and in its periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future events and developments.

Contacts:

Cherokee Inc.
Mark DiSiena, Chief Financial Officer
818-908-9868
or
Addo Communications, Inc.
Patricia Nir/Kimberly Esterkin
310-829-5400
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