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Liz Claiborne signs exclusives with JCPenney, QVC

Both deals include home

HED

New York – Liz Claiborne Inc. has signed a long-term licensing agreement with J.C. Penney that will make the retailer the exclusive department store distributor for Liz Claiborne and Claiborne brand merchandise covering 30 product categories, including home. It has also signed a license with QVC for the Liz Claiborne New York brand designed by Isaac Mizrahi, which will cover apparel, accessories and home. The products will be positioned in the better/best tier.

Under the 10-year contract with JCPenney, Claiborne will oversee design, while the retailer’s in-house team will handle production and sourcing. Claiborne Inc. will receive design service fees and royalties as a percent of sales. The deal also gives Claiborne Inc. a gross profit share with guaranteed minimums. Further details were not disclosed.

Penney has carried sub-branded Liz&Co and Concepts by Claiborne brands since 2007. The new Claiborne brands will begin rolling out in fall 2010. After five years, JCPenney will be given the option to acquire the brands’ trademarks.

Asked during a conference call this morning what it meant to the brand to exit the more upscale department store sector, Liz Claiborne ceo Bill McComb responded: "To the consumer, here’s a news flash. JCPenney is a department store, and JCPenney is a traditional department store. JCPenney was a department store before a lot of these others were department stores. If we think of it just purely in terms of watching the footfall of consumers, this is about winning with the winners." 

Under the QVC agreement, Mizrahi will serve as creative director and will collaborate with QVC on design, merchandise and sourcing. Claiborne Inc. will receive royalties on net sales with a guaranteed minimum. The agreement takes effect in fall 2010.

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