By  on March 17, 1994

NEW YORK -- Macy's East is beefing up bodywear at its Herald Square flagship with a new location and more labels.

In conjunction with the relocation of its bodywear department to the third floor from the second, the store has added "more updated and innovative" vendors, according to Benny Lin, fashion director for the Macy's division.

The additions are Mossimo and Caruska, two ready-to-wear-inspired bodywear lines from Los Angeles. In May, a line of bodywear under the Adidas label will be brought in, Lin said.

Continuing vendors in the department are Jacques Moret, Bonnie August, Marika and Aerodynamics by Weekend Exercise Co., and Gilda Marx.

Additionally, Macy's is merchandising sports bras for the first time within the bodywear area. Featured labels are Christina for Gilda Marx and Lily of France. Sports bras had formerly been housed with foundations, Lin said.

The department, which was set up about three weeks ago, had its official opening last Thursday with a one-hour demonstration of hip-hop aerobics. Printed pastel bodywear of cotton and Lycra spandex by Bonnie August was worn by an aerobics instructor and four students from the Crunch Fitness clubs here.

Other demonstrations will be staged in the department twice a month, continuing through the summer, Lin said.

"We moved bodywear to the third floor because we thought we had a major opportunity to place it near our innerwear department, which is doing extremely well," said Lin. The flagship moved its innerwear department from the second level to the third floor last fall.

Since the move, bodywear sales have reportedly shown a percentage increase in the low double digits. The square footage of the new department is about the same as its former location -- about 3,500 square feet.

What Macy's considers its activewear department, consisting primarily of jogging suits, continues on the second floor. Lin noted that business is generated primarily by customers aged 50 and over.

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