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Spiegel to Buy Clifford & Wills From J. Crew

BRIEFLY / RETAILING

December 22, 1999|(Bloomberg News)

Spiegel Inc., a catalog retailer under the Eddie Bauer, Newport News and its namesake brands, said it plans to buy the Clifford & Wills women's clothing catalog from closely held J. Crew Group Inc. to boost sales. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The transaction would include the Clifford & Wills name, a U.S. customer list and a Web site, the company said. Spiegel is seeking to buy brands or form partnerships this year to boost sales and profit. The 134-year-old retailer, which also sells on the Internet, returned to profitability last year after three consecutive years of losses. Its stock has gained more than 26% this year. Downers Grove, Ill.-based Spiegel expects to mail its first Clifford & Wills catalog in March. The retailer, which also sells home furnishings, had about $2.94 billion in sales last year. J. Crew, based in New York, sells clothes through its catalog, 81 retail stores and on the Internet. Spiegel closed off 6 cents at $6.94 on Nasdaq.

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