Clothing giant Jones Apparel Group Inc announced on Tuesday it had completed its letter of intent to enter a five-year licensing agreement with a unit of Hong Kong's Esprit Holdings Ltd.

The New York-based company said in a statement that the deal for Esprit women's and young women's footwear, handbags and small leather goods would allow its Nine West Group to distribute those items to department stores and retailers in the US and Puerto Rico.

It added that under terms of the letter, any deal could be extended for another five years if certain undisclosed conditions are met.

Rhonda Brown, president and CEO of Nine West Group, commented: "We are very excited with the execution of this licensing agreement and are pleased to be adding such well-known brands to our existing portfolio.

"This is a great opportunity for the Nine West Group Division and we look forward to launching the business at the upcoming August footwear market in Las Vegas."