By  on July 15, 2005

NEW YORK — Intent on building an accessories business for its retail divisions, Limited Brands Inc. has hired Ed Bucciarelli in the new position of president of Limited Brands Accessories and president and chief executive officer of Henri Bendel.

Bucciarelli is group president of accessories and cosmetics for Liz Claiborne Inc. He moves to Limited on Aug. 1.

"He brings to Limited Brands an impressive track record in the areas of commercialization and brand-building," Leslie H. Wexner, Limited Brands chairman and ceo, said in a statement Thursday. Wexner added that the company sees "enormous opportunity" in accessories.

At Bendel's, Bucciarelli will be responsible for strategy, merchandising and operations. As accessories president, he will provide vision and strategy as well as merchandising expertise and development direction to create accessories collections across Limited Brands, the company said. He will be based here.

Bucciarelli will interact with merchants in each Limited Brands business to determine the potential for accessories, which up to now has been a marginal portion of the specialty retailer's $9.4 billion volume. Typically, Limited accessories have been merchandised as last-minute pickups at checkout counters, though Bendel's has long devoted a significant amount of floor space to accessories.

Bucciarelli will work closely with Limited's vice chairman and chief operating officer, Len Schlesinger, and group president for apparel, Jay Margolis, as well as Wexner, "to determine the optimal organizational approach to capitalize on this significant opportunity," Limited said. At Bendel's, Bucciarelli succeeds Michael McCadden, who left in May.

At Claiborne, Bucciarelli was responsible for a portfolio of more than 20 brands in all classifications of accessories and fragrance across multiple channels. He also was integral in integrating and repositioning the Monet Group, which was acquired by Claiborne in 2001. Prior to Claiborne, Bucciarelli held positions in design, sourcing, marketing and strategic positioning at Swank, Monet and Bloomingdale's.

"A successor will be named in the near future," said a Claiborne spokeswoman. "Until then, Trudy Sullivan, executive vice president, will continue to provide oversight to the accessories and cosmetics division and will be taking a more active role in the day-to-day management of these businesses."

Market sources estimated that accessories account for less than 1 percent of Limited Brand's volume. They also said that Limited is anxious to build significant businesses in jewelry, purses, handbags, scarves and gloves. They could be sold at the Limited Stores, Express and Victoria's Secret divisions, and even possibly Bath & Body Works.

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