Saks Incorporated is to become the first major retailer to sell the Roots brand in the United States under a new agreement announced today.

Certain Saks Department Store Group stores (Parisian, Proffitt's, McRae's, Younkers, Herberger's, Carson Pirie Scott, Bergner's, and Boston Store) will, from August 2002, feature Roots shops carrying its men's and women's athletic sportswear line as well as accessories, including small leather goods, sunglasses, watches, and fragrances.

Established in Toronto in 1973, Roots is a lifestyle brand with over 200 stores selling leather goods, sportswear and home accessories. It will be kitting out the US and Canadian teams when they compete at the Summer Olympics at Athens, Greece in 2004.

George Jones, president and chief executive officer of Saks Department Store Group, noted: "This is yet another example of how we are achieving our strategic objective of offering unique, distinctive merchandise to our valued SDSG customers."

Michael Budman, Roots co-founder, added: "This is a tremendous opportunity for the Roots brand to reach the American public at large. The demand for our authentic athletic wear has been outstanding since the Salt Lake City games."