Changes in-store for Lane Bryant

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Renaming the Lane Bryant catalog Woman Within isn't the only change owner Redcats USA is undertaking.

The company has recently increased the input of designers for several brands with the intention of making the clothing more fashionable.

The move "belongs to a larger initiative in Redcats to bring in more unique product," said Eric Faintreny, chairman/CEO Redcats USA, New York

The goal is not only to refresh and modernize the various lines but also to strengthen the catalog's brand identity as it transitions from one name to another.

Redcats, which is owned by French retailer PPR, holds the license for the Lane Bryant catalog, which expires in Oct. 2007. The company began preparing consumers last month for the new name with a catalog that read "Lane Bryant Introduces Woman Within" on the cover. The copy will slowly evolve over the next year with Lane Bryant taking a progressively smaller position and Woman Within a progressively larger role.

What won't be changing is the catalog's tagline: "We've got it - Comfort, Fit and Value for sizes 12W to 44W." Customers will also recognize the same proprietary brands and a similar catalog layout and design.

It's not like Redcats is navigating blindly in this territory of renaming a catalog. The company employed a similar strategy for the Lerner catalog, a name that will disappear in January when the license expires and will be replaced by metrostyle.

While "it is a challenge" to have two catalogs undergoing a name change at the same time, Mr. Faintreny said, the company has learned a lot from the Lerner example that it will be applying to the Lane Bryant transition.

For example, some of the visuals for metrostyle weren't consistent during the transition and this created some confusion among consumers.

"We'll make sure that the visuals remain very constant in the Lane Bryant transition," Mr. Faintreny said.

The Woman Within name was chosen because it is has been a successful intimates catalog for the past 15 years. Company research showed the name "stands for intimacy in the eyes of our customer and inner life, inner strength and confidence," Mr. Faintreny said.

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