LIMITED'S GAME PLAN

Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK--The Limited Inc. wants to create a "national brand" of authentic outdoor sports attire, possibly including running shorts, hiking apparel, sweat clothes and outerwear, for its new Galyan's division, Limited chairman and chief executive officer Leslie H. Wexner said Wednesday.
The private label line will be under the Galyan's label and could begin appearing in Galyan's stores in six months, Wexner said.
The Limited announced Wednesday that it was acquiring the $52 million Galyan's sporting goods chain. It has five units in Indianapolis and one in Columbus, Ohio, where the Limited is based.
The move to develop a private apparel brand represents a change in direction for Galyan's, which primarily sells branded sporting goods and related apparel. It also reflects Limited's strength in sourcing and product development.
For a Galyan's label to become national in scope, an aggressive rollout of Galyan's stores is necessary.
"I believe we can grow the business to become the dominant destination store for sporting gear and merchandise," Wexner said.
Wexner noted that other divisions, such as Victoria's Secret, also had only a handful of stores when acquired by Limited but were rapidly rolled out.
He did note the importance to the sporting goods industry of international brands, such as Nike, but added Limited's philosophy with Galyan's reflects the softgoods strategies of firms like Eddie Bauer, L.L. Bean and Patagonia.

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