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NEW YORK — Lane Bryant’s new 7,835-square-foot flagship opening on Friday at 225 West 34th Street puts all of the retailer’s recent re-branding efforts to use, from the new LB logo incorporating a heart shape to new co-branded collections created with the Manhattan flagship in mind.

This story first appeared in the February 28, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The store has a grand staircase and escalator leading to a 2,180-square-foot balcony area where the innerwear brand Cacique is housed. It is expected to be among the top-performing units in the 800-store chain.

The flagship is one of 11 stores to offer the Lane Collection, which features quality fabrics and more sophisticated styles. Price points are 30 to 35 percent higher than the core line. Liz Crystal, chief marketing officer, said Lane was inspired by Manhattan, where the retailer believes it has an audience for such products. The collection features more leather, such as a blush-colored blazer, $398. Jewelry, for example, such as a silver and turquoise bracelet looks more upscale and is priced at $40.

Lane Bryant plans to grow under new owner, Ascena Retail Group, which bought out previous parent Charming Shoppes, last year. “We plan to open a significant number of stores, more than 250 units, over the next three years,” Crystal said.

An area for activewear at the back of the store features yoga pants, jackets, sports bras and the new LB kicks.

“Seriously Sexy is our most sexy collection in Cacique,” Crystal said, stepping off the escalator and onto the balcony. “This is something new for us — thigh highs.” Cacique offers bras in sizes F, G and H, which Crystal said are harder to find. A Cacique sub-brand, True to You, consists of “true loungewear,” Crystal said. There’s also a section devoted to Spanx, which is “important to our customer.”

Service will be a priority. There will be six iPads for sales associates to use to help shoppers. The Cacique dressing rooms will have a bra fitting station manned by a trained expert, and lighting can be customized by shoppers, adjustable for daylight, office and evening light.

The new flagship will form a triumvirate of Lane Bryant stores in New York City, including units in Brooklyn and Harlem, which was just remodeled.

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