NEW YORK — Club Ellen Tracy is going dark.

The five-year-old marketing program, which rewards loyal Ellen Tracy customers with $100 gift certificates for every $1,000 they spend on the brand, “soon will fold,” said Laura Holbrook, director of marketing at Ellen Tracy.

“It’s just a matter of what works,” Holbrook said in an interview Tuesday, following her presentation on marketing apparel to women ages 40 and up, sponsored by the American Apparel and Footwear Association. “We have a database of over 30,000 members and we can’t use those names in any way other than [to facilitate] the redemption of gift certificates in department stores where members bought the brand.

“We’ve started opening our own stores and it makes sense to try to touch the customer in other ways,” Holbrook added. “Plus, we pay a fee to a third-party to manage those names.” Ellen Tracy opened its first store at Long Island’s Americana Manhasset shopping center, as reported. It is the first of what could be 10 to 12 doors to open under the nameplate during the next three to five years.

Ellen Tracy will try to capture more information about its customers online, at, by expanding the questions asked in the marketing site’s opt-in e-mail program. Those who opt in, including former members of Club Ellen Tracy, will be alerted to a range of marketing efforts from special events to new products being highlighted on the site.

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