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DIDDY INKS DEAL WITH MACYS

 

5.10.10 ---- As department stores fight for market share, Macy's continues to press its celebrity-driven strategy to revive sales with an exclusive deal with rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Sean John, the fashion brand fronted by the artist formerly known as Puffy, will be available only at Macy's stores beginning with its spring men's sportswear line arriving in October, and it will have its own in-store shops at key Macy's locations, such as its 34th Street flagship in New York. Macy's has been carrying Sean John since the line launched in 1999 with men's sportswear; it later expanded to a full line of menswear, fragrances and women's apparel.

Officials of Macy's -- which already has exclusive deals with Madonna, Martha Stewart and Tommy Hilfiger, among other notables -- had hinted that they had another deal coming when they met with investors in late April to lay out their strategy to grow as retail emerges from the recession. The company, which is also the parent company of Bloomingdale's, has made star-powered exclusives a big part of its merchandising plans.

 

"This is one of the greatest business moves I've made in my life," said Combs in a press conference. The Sean John brand has annual sales of $525 million, and although neither he nor Macy's executives would give hard numbers, Combs added: "We expect to do a couple of billion more."

"I got my start at Macy's when I was 16, selling shirts and ties," Combs told The New York Post. "To come full circle like this is a dream come true."

Macy's will reap a bounty of publicity, free and otherwise, from the deal. "I'm going to be on every talk show in the world," said Combs, who has a new album out June 28 and a new movie, "Get Him to the Greek," opening this summer. He promised to plug the fashion line in every public appearance.



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