By  on July 6, 2005

NEW YORK — Things are on the move at Dana Buchman. Last month, the bridge sportswear company opened a 2,000-square-foot boutique at Boca Raton's Town Center in Boca Raton, Fla., and it has plans to unveil a 3,200-square-foot store at the Forum Shops in Las Vegas later this month.

Both stores feature a new retail look for the Liz Claiborne brand. The plan is to roll out the concept to Dana Buchman's other four stores, starting with its 57th Street flagship, which will temporarily close down later this year for renovation.

The new stores take a more personalized approach. Features include Florentine wallpaper, taffeta silk drapes in fitting rooms and antique Venetian mirrors, and eclectic furniture handpicked by the designer for each location.

"Each store will have unique features," said Laura Dubin Wander, the company's president. "They will have the same general feel or aesthetic, but there will be real unique pieces in each store ... We are really looking to make our retail shops a think tank for the Dana Buchman brand."

The stores offer exclusive pieces not available at wholesale. They also feature a new program called Dana's Picks. Every store will devote a selling area to pieces that reflect Buchman's personal interests. These could range from her favorite books to DVDs she liked, a scented candle she bought for her home or bowls she may have seen on a trip abroad. "We want to make the stores reflective of Dana Buchman the person," Dubin Wander said.

Dubin Wander declined to disclose sales for the brand, though a market source estimated it to have annual wholesale volume of more than $150 million. As for the future, Dubin Wander said the company is exploring international growth opportunities and is looking to build an accessories business.

"We have been on a growth plan for the last couple of years, and we are really starting to get a nice momentum going," she said.

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