Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) announced today the signing of a multi-year contract with Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (RUSS) (NYSE: RUS) to manufacture and market Hush Puppies branded plush toys.
“Hush Puppies is one of the world's foremost global footwear brands with one of the most well-loved icons in the world, the trademark Hush Puppies basset hound,” said Skip Zimmerman, President of the Hush Puppies Company, a division of Wolverine World Wide. “RUSS is a premier toy and gift company known for its creativity and quality. Through this partnership, we can extend the Hush Puppies brand worldwide.”
The global license agreement will allow the Hush Puppies plush program to be available through the vast network of Hush Puppies licensees in more than 130 countries. The plush will be distributed in the United States through the RUSS sales force to prestigious gift, specialty and toy stores.
“We are very excited to partner with such an established and reputable brand as Hush Puppies,” said Andy Gatto, President and CEO of Russ Berrie and Company. “In addition to creating huggable, plush versions of Hush Puppies trademark basset hound, our creative team is working on new designs for seasonal and holiday products that will appeal to consumers who associate the Hush Puppies brand with fun and style.”
The initial product offering is an assortment of plush items varying in size from 5 to 18 inches. Retail price points in the United States are expected to range from $5-$50 and will be available at retail starting in September of this year.
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and slippers. The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates(R), Hush Puppies(R), HYTEST(R), Merrell(R), Sebago(R) and Wolverine(R). The Company also markets footwear under popular licensed brands including CAT(R), Harley- Davidson(R) and Stanley(R). The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and are distributed internationally in over 150 countries. For additional information, please visit our website, http://www.wolverineworldwide.com .
Russ Berrie and Company, Inc. (and its wholly-owned subsidiaries), designs, develops and distributes more than 8,000 innovative gift products through 41,000+ specialty retail stores worldwide. Known for its teddy bears and other plush animals, the Company's gift line is comprised of a diverse range of everyday, seasonal and occasion-themed products. Founded in 1963 by the late Russ Berrie from a rented garage in New Jersey, today the $329 million dollar company operates offices, showrooms and distribution centers all over the world and trades on the NYSE under the symbol RUS.