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Liz Claiborne Unloads Four Brands

The company also will discontinue some lines.
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Liz Claiborne (LIZ) agreed to sell four of its brands as part of its broader strategy to better focus its resources.

The women's apparel maker is selling Emma James, Intuitions, JH Collectibles and Tapemeasure, to Li & Fung USA, a division of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Ltd., a buying agency that manages the supply chain for retailers and brands worldwide.

"While this is only the first phase of the strategic review process, we are pleased with the outcome," said Liz Claiborne's chief executive William McComb in a statement. "Li & Fung is a terrific company that will nurture these businesses, seek to provide jobs for many of the associates working on these brands and enable the transition from Liz Claiborne with minimal disruption to the business."

The four brands are among 16 that Liz Claiborne had targeted for review in July. The company has said it wants to concentrate on direct-to-consumer brands like Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand Jeans, as well as wholesale brands like Liz Claiborne and DKNY.

The company also said that it will incorporate its Stamp 10 and Tint brands into the Axcess and Liz & Co. lines. Liz Claiborne said the move will enhance its business at


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, which sells Axcess clothes, and

J.C. Penney

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, which sells the Liz & Co. brand.

Liz Claiborne also plans to discontinue its First Issue business at

Sears Holdings'


Sears chain at the end of the year.

"Throughout the remainder of the process, we will continue to operate in the best interest of the brands under strategic review and will take whatever actions necessary to grow and develop each business," McComb said. "At the conclusion of the process, Liz Claiborne Inc. will be a more agile and focused company."

The sale of the four brands is expected to close in the fourth quarter, including the sale of trademarks and inventory.