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Mary-kateandashley brand to launch at Warehouse

News release

12 August 2003

The mary-kateandashley brand fashion and lifestyle ranges launch exclusively in New Zealand at The Warehouse stores

The Warehouse will also carry entertainment products non-exclusively

Auckland, New Zealand/Beverly Hills, CA. August 12, 2003 - Dualstar Consumer Products, through CEO Robert Thorne, and The Warehouse Limited, through General Manager David Wilson, today announced the launch of the mary-kateandashley brand fashion and lifestyle ranges in New Zealand exclusively at The Warehouse as of September 20, 2003.

Dualstar Consumer Products is the consumer products division of Dualstar Entertainment Group, the multi-divisional corporate group for international teen superstars Mary-Kate and Ashley and the mary-kateandashley brand. The Warehouse will launch the European-inspired designs from the mary-kateandashley brand for 'tween girls ages 6-14 and toddler girls ages 3-5.

The mary-kateandashley brand also includes lifestyle products for girls of all ages. Mary-Kate and Ashley are confident the New Zealand marketplace will embrace their fashion and lifestyle ranges with the same phenomenal success and unprecedented retail sales already achieved in the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia.

Twenty of The Warehouse stores nation-wide will exclusively stock the mary-kateandashley brand fashion and lifestyle ranges, which include outerwear, hats, bags, backpacks, sunglasses, jewellery, watches and bedding. In addition to the fashion and lifestyle ranges, fashion dolls and accessories will also be stocked exclusively at The Warehouse.

The Warehouse will also stock on a non-exclusive basis the mary-kateandashley brand entertainment range including videos/DVDs, videogames, books, posters and music CDs.

Dualstar's global-reach strategy is to place the mary-kateandashley brand entertainment products non-exclusively in each territory, but to place the mary-kateandashley brand fashion and lifestyle products at one mass merchant.

"We hope kids, 'tweens and teens in the New Zealand marketplace embrace the mary-kateandashley brand," said Mary-Kate. "With our fashion, lifestyle and entertainment ranges we hope The Warehouse has the same success the

mary-kateandashley brand has had in the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia," added Ashley.

"The Warehouse's strategy in fashion and lifestyle categories is not so much to be ahead of the trend as to define the trend. In partnering with the mary-kateandashley brand, we will continue to do just that," said General Manager David Wilson.

"We are pleased to bring an international brand to New Zealand. The mary-kateandashley brand is the perfect partner for The Warehouse and our reputation for making the desirable affordable for all New Zealanders. We are excited to be associated with a brand that has similar family based values as the Warehouse whilst offering a new trend-setting fashion range for New Zealand girls.

"Our initial plan is have the brand stocked in areas where there is a high percentage of growing families and we aim to expand distribution to up to 50 stores by April 2004."

"Mary-Kate and Ashley are young ladies who inspire and influence girls everywhere," said Dualstar CEO Thorne and co-founder (with Mary-Kate and Ashley) of Dualstar.

"Mary-Kate and Ashley are the tastemakers for their generation. The

mary-kateandashley brand is bringing affordable designer fashions and lifestyle products and quality entertainment product, to New Zealand, a country Mary-Kate and Ashley hope to spend time in within months."

To support The Warehouse's on-floor launch of the mary-kateandashley brand fashion, lifestyle and entertainment ranges, Dualstar is undertaking highly focused marketing, promotion and publicity initiatives in coordination with The Warehouse.

The mary-kateandashley brand is the most successful girls brand in North America, England, Canada and Australia, with retail sales approaching U.S. $1 billion in 2002.

Mary-Kate and Ashley hope to come to Auckland in 2004 and aim to do a live Internet chat later this year.

Mary-Kate and Ashley are known to New Zealand 'tweens and teens from their roles in the sitcom So Little Time, which airs on TV2 on Saturday's at 4.30pm. Mary-Kate and Ashley will also appear in the E! Celebrity Profile on Sky on August 24 at 6.00pm and in the TV2 movies How the West was Won and Passport to Paris on September 26 and October 2 respectively.

Future plans for the mary-kateandashley brand include launches in Mexico (August 2003), France (October 2003), Germany (Spring 2004), Japan (Summer 2004), Israel (Spring 2004) and China, with additional territories to follow.

In addition to starring in and producing films and designing fashion and lifestyle products, Mary-Kate and Ashley attend high school in Southern California, where they have a full course load and are applying for college admission for northern hemisphere autumn 2004.

Mary-Kate and Ashley star in and produce their new big-screen feature film New York Minute set for release in 2004.

Dualstar Entertainment Group has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Auckland, London, Paris, Sydney, Mexico City and Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Warehouse, headquartered in Auckland, is one of New Zealand's leading mass market retailers with 80 stores across the country.

About Mary-Kate and Ashley

Mary-Kate and Ashley will become the youngest celebrities in history to be awarded stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. They were chosen from among hundreds of nominees and will attend the celebratory event early 2004.

Mary-Kate and Ashley were named this year to People's magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People as well as being named to The World's Richest Kids in a recent People magazine cover feature story.

VH-1 recently highlighted the greatest talents pop culture has witnessed in the last 50 years with Mary-Kate and Ashley ranking at #25.

Biography magazine, the leading cultural media magazine, included Mary-Kate and Ashley in its 15 Extraordinary Women feature story and were the only teens joining the likes of J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author), Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger and Jane Pauly. Biography refers to Mary-Kate and Ashley as definitely extraordinary, a fresh-faced marketing juggernaut.

The Hollywood Reporter, the world's leading show business trade publication, dedicated a special issue showcasing Mary-Kate and Ashley and the mary-kateandashley brand naming them The Most Powerful Young Women in Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter also named Mary-Kate and Ashley for the second straight year to its coveted Power 100 list of the 100 most powerful women in Hollywood, including studio heads, network presidents and superstars, all at least 20 years Mary-Kate and Ashley's senior.

Also, for the second year in a row, Mary-Kate and Ashley were included in Forbes coveted Celebrity 100 list of the world's hottest entertainers and athletes, and ranks them #1 among the world's kid stars.

Mary-Kate and Ashley were included in Vanity Fair's The New Establishment: The Future in the Bullpen, joining nine other entertainment industry heavyweights, all of whom are twenty-five or more years Mary-Kate and Ashley's senior.

Mary-Kate and Ashley were the subject of a cover feature story in a September 19 special juniors edition of Women's Wear Daily, the world's #1 fashion trade publication, demonstrating just how far the mary-kateandashley brand has come in the fashion and lifestyle marketplace since its introduction just 20 months ago in the U.S.

On January 14, Mary-Kate and Ashley were recognized with the Franchise Performers Award (a lifetime achievement award) at the 2003 DVD Premiere Awards which recognizes and rewards special creative achievement in programming specifically for home viewing. In February 3, 2003, Mary-Kate and Ashley were named to a Top 10 slot on E! Entertainment's RANK: Hottest 25 Under 25 list of hot young stars in motion pictures, television and music.


Issued for Dualstar Entertainment Group by Pead PR

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