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LEVI’S OUTLETS ON CLEARANCE: Casual Male Retail Group Inc. said it plans to shutter 50 to 55 of its 83 Levi’s and Dockers Outlet stores within two years, as part of an overall plan to exit that business. It said the closings will result in a $27 million to $30 million charge. The Canton, Mass.-based retailer in August first said it planned to pull back from the Levi’s business, partly blaming an “erosion” of brand equity, but also acknowledging that as Levi’s got its serious inventory overrun problem of the late Nineties under control, the volume of product available for outlets has become limited. Casual Male said it plans to close or sell the remaining Levi’s and Dockers stores not taken out in its first round of closings as their leases come up. The retailer plans to focus on its 467-store big-and-tall men’s chain.

This story first appeared in the February 14, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

HITTING THE ROAD: Luggage maker Hartmann Inc. and its consultants, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, the design team behind Lambertson Truex, are parting ways. Hartmann’s collaboration with Lambertson Truex began in 1999, when the luggage firm hired them to update the look of existing products and direct new product design. Under their guidance, Hartmann has launched luggage lines such as Luxe and Career, which feature weekenders and carry-ons in whimsical prints. Hartmann is expected to continue carrying these. The duo’s last collection for the house will be the Career line, which is being previewed for fall selling.