Vera Bradley Inc. said Tuesday it signed a licensing agreement with CID Resources Inc. to design apparel and accessories for female health care professionals. This is a new product category for the company, according to a statement from Chief Executive Rob Wallstrom, with the medical uniforms market estimated at $1.8 billion in the U.S. Nearly 20% of Vera Bradley's customers say they work in the health care industry, he said. The line, which will include uniforms, tote bags and ID badge holders, is expected to launch in spring 2018. Since September 2016, Vera Bradley has entered into licensing agreements with companies such as Peking Handicraft Inc. for bedding, rugs and kitchen textiles, and Mainstream Swimsuits Inc. for swimwear and cover-ups. Licensing partnerships are not expected to have a material impact on financial performance for the fiscal year ending Feb. 3, 2018. Vera Bradley shares are inactive in premarket trading, and down nearly 49% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 12.2% for the last 12 months.
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