Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Macy's Inks Exclusive Deal With Ellen Tracy

After much industry speculation, Macy's, Inc. has announced they have entered into a strategic alliance with Ellen Tracy owner, Brand Matter LLC, and and its sportswear licensee, RVC Enterprises that will make Macy's the exclusive department store retailer of Ellen Tracy women's sportswear, beginning in spring 2010.

The exclusive Ellen Tracy better sportswear line will have a modern twist, focusing on separates that consist of jackets, shirts, pants, sweaters, woven tops, knit tops and bottoms. Price points will range from $99 to $149 for jackets and $50 to $99 for pants.

"Ellen Tracy is a legendary brand that is well-known to our customers and backed by an outstanding design team. In particular, Ellen Tracy delivers exceptional value to women who expect quality and want a relevant look for today's world at work and on the town," said Jeff Gennette, Macy's chief merchandising officer.

Mark Mendelson, president and CEO of the Ellen Tracy division of RVC, said, "My team and I are thrilled to bring the Ellen Tracy heritage and style to a more accessible pricepoint. We look forward to entering, building and eventually becoming one of the leading brands in the better department".

"We are excited to form this long term tri-partnership with RVC and Macy's. Macy's is the preeminent national department store in the United States and we believe that the Ellen Tracy brand will add significant accretive sales to the better sportswear floor", says Bill Sweedler, co-chairman and CEO of Brand Matter.

Initial launch of the exclusive sportswear line will begin in 100 Macy's stores and online at macys.com in March 2010, with plans for additional stores in the future. Macy's flagship stores in Herald Square in NYC, Union Square in San Francisco, State Street in Chicago and Dadeland in Miami are among those who will carry the Ellen Tracy shops in the initial launch.

This is a major coup for Macy's that could put them ahead of their competitors. When Ellen Tracy decided to move from bridge to better sportswear, a huge gap was left for retailers, since, for years, the brand served as an anchor for the bridge floors of department stores like Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Saks, Bloomingdale's and Dillard's. These department stores have been scrambling for a replacement ever since. Now, that Macy's will be carrying the brand exclusively, retailers are doubly concerned.

Ellen Tracy will be among a group of exclusive brands in partnership with Macy's, including Tommy Hilfiger, Martha Stewart Collection, Rachel Rachel Roy and Donald Trump.

 (SOURCE: Macy's Press Release)

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