Orchard Brands Buys Crosstown Traders Catalog Group

By Aug 26, 2008

Charming Shoppes Inc. has entered an agreement to sell its Crosstown Traders women’s apparel catalog group and a related portion of its credit card receivables.

Charming Shoppes will fetch $35 million in cash for the catalogs and Web sites associated with Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram, Brownstone Studio, Intimate Apparel, Monterey Bay Clothing Co. and Coward Shoe.

The buyer is Orchard Brands, backed by its corporate parent Golden Gate Capital, an equity investment firm based in San Francisco. The deal is expected to close by the end of September.

Charming Shoppes will retain the infrastructure of Crosstown Traders and will provide distribution, information technology and call center services for a limited transition period.

Orchard Brands is a catalog conglomerate that owns Appleseed’s, Blair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Gold Violin, Haband, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions, Tog Shop and Wintersilks.

In a separate deal, Charming Shoppes is selling its credit card receivables associated with the same catalog and Web businesses for $40 million in cash to Alliance Data Systems. This transaction is expected to close by Jan. 31, 2009.

Charming Shoppes has also announced that it has an initiated a process to explore the possible sale of its Figi’s Gifts and Good Taste catalog businesses.

These divestments will allow Charming Shoppes to focus on its core women’s apparel plus size brands Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines, according to Alan Rosskamm, chairman of the board and interim CEO of Charming Shoppes.