Retailer Saks Incorporated has signed an exclusive agreement with Kikomo Ltd to design, produce, distribute, and sell Ruff Hewn men's, women's, and children's apparel, shoes, and accessories in the United States.

The Ruff Hewn brand will be managed by the Saks Department Store Group (SDSG), a private brand organisation based in Birmingham, and merchandise will be introduced into the SDSG stores in autumn 2003.

George Jones, president and chief executive officer of Saks Department Store Group, noted: "The agreement to produce and sell Ruff Hewn merchandise exclusively in our stores is consistent with SDSG's strategic initiative of offering unique and distinctive products to our customers."

The Saks Department Store Group consists of 243 department stores under the names of Parisian, Proffitt's, McRae's, Younkers, Herberger's, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, and Boston Store.