By  on October 29, 2007

Ruehl, Abercrombie & Fitch's 19-store chain geared for 22- to 35-year-olds, has launched an e-commerce site with offerings limited to handbags, cologne and perfume.

"Typically, we wait for a larger store base to flip on the e-commerce business, but since the bags are doing very well we want to take advantage of their success," said Tom Lennox, Abercrombie's vice president of communications. "The leather bags also reinforce the brand's heritage."

Ruehl's entire assortment of men's and women's casual apparel, jeans, outerwear and gift cards will be added to the site, ruehl.com, for spring, Lennox said.

The three-year-old Ruehl division, small in comparison with other Abercrombie units, was inspired by Manhattan's Greenwich Village and emphasizes hip casual leather goods. The concept is based on a fictitious story, conceived by Michael Jeffries, chairman and chief executive of Abercrombie, about a German leather goods family that decades ago immigrated to America, opened a studio in a town house in Greenwich Village, and are lovers of art, literature and music. The brand appeals to an older audience compared with Abercrombie & Fitch, which targets 18- to 22-year-olds; Hollister, 14- to 18-year-olds, and abercrombie, geared for 7- to 14-year-olds. These divisions already operate e-commerce sites.

Previously, Ruehl operated a "lifestyle" Web site without e-commerce capabilities.

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