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Steve Chiotakis: Every department store has its mainstay brands — well-known labels that customers come to expect. But as Andrea Gardner explains, several labels are packing up and preparing to lay roots in new homes. And that could cause some consumer confusion.
Andrea Gardner: Clothing brands Dana Buchman, Liz Claiborne and Ellen Tracy are moving down-market. They’ve all inked deals with lower-priced department stores. And it feels like a retail musical chairs.
Buchman will move out of Saks Fifth Avenue and be sold exclusively at Kohls. Tracey, which was a staple at Nordstrom, will go to Macy’s. And Liz Claiborne is headed from Macy’s to JC Penney.
Moving down-market is not something most brands want to do. But Candace Corlett with WSL Strategic Retail says labels like Liz are losing their luster, as many women choose trendier brands. So you do whatcha gotta do.
Candace Corlett: They’ve done their homework and they’ve calculated that they’re going to pick up more JC Penney shoppers than they are losing at Macy’s. This is their second wind.
And what’s a brand to do when it needs a revival after the second wind? Corlett says they find a third wind.
Corlett: They go to Wal-Mart.
That’s home sweet home for brands like Jordache, O.P., and Norma Kamali.
In Los Angeles, I’m Andrea Gardner for Marketplace.
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