FORT WAYNE, Ind., June 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vera Bradley, Inc. (Nasdaq:VRA) ("Vera Bradley" or the "Company") today announced it has entered into a five-year agreement with Look Inc. ("Look"), who has exclusive rights to market and distribute its products in Japan. As a partner to Look, Mitsubishi Corporation ("Mitsubishi") has been granted the exclusive right to import Vera Bradley products into Japan during the term of the agreement.
Look is expected to begin distribution of the Vera Bradley brand in Japan in October 2014. Throughout the term of the agreement, Look is expected to open Vera Bradley stand-alone retail stores and boutiques as well as sell its products through select department stores and specialty shops in Tokyo and other key metropolitan markets throughout Japan. In addition, Look will assume operation of www.verabradley.co.jp, the Vera Bradley Japanese e-commerce site, by early fall 2014.
Robert Wallstrom, Chief Executive Officer of Vera Bradley, noted, "We entered Japan on our own over three years ago, and our experience has proven to us that there is an enormous opportunity for Vera Bradley there. Mitsubishi and Look have an unparalleled retail network of department stores, boutiques, and free-standing stores throughout Japan as well as distribution and retail partnerships with several internationally renowned brands. We have many loyal customers in Japan, and we believe Mitsubishi and Look will be the right partners to expand our reach and help us capitalize on our potential there."
In the Company's third fiscal quarter, Vera Bradley will discontinue the operations of its existing 13 retail locations in Japan.
Guggenheim Securities served as financial advisor to Vera Bradley in this transaction.
About Vera Bradley, Inc.
Vera Bradley, Inc. is a leading designer of women's handbags and accessories, luggage and travel items, eyewear, stationery and gifts. Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand's iconic designs and versatile styles offer women of all ages a colorful way to accessorize. Vera Bradley offers a unique, multi-channel sales model as well as a focus on service and a high level of engagement with fans. Fiscal 2014 net revenues totaled approximately $536 million. The Company's commitment to breast cancer research continues to increase its reach through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. For more information about Vera Bradley (Nasdaq:VRA), visit www.verabradley.com/mediaroom.
Vera Bradley Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements in this release are "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations or beliefs concerning future events and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that we expected, including: possible adverse changes in general economic conditions and their impact on consumer confidence and spending; possible inability to predict and respond in a timely manner to changes in consumer demand; possible loss of key management or design associates or inability to attract and retain the talent required for our business; possible inability to maintain and enhance our brand; possible inability to successfully implement our growth strategies or manage our growing business; possible inability to successfully open new stores as planned; and possible inability to sustain levels of comparable-store sales. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements, please refer to "Risk Factors" in Part I, Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement. Financial schedules are attached to this release.