NEW YORK — The Doneger Group, expanding its network of information and advisory services, has acquired Tobe, another well-known consulting organization that publishes the Tobe Report on fashion trends.

Officials of both firms said the Tobe Report will operate independently as a division of Doneger. Tobe’s 15 retail and fashion merchandising analysts will remain at Tobe headquarters at 501 Fifth Avenue here. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Kathy Deane, president of Tobe, will report to Abbey Doneger, president of The Doneger Group.

“My intent is to provide Kathy with the resources to build the Tobe business,” Doneger said in an interview Thursday. He said Tobe would “complement our own business with additional talent and services,” and that no changes will be made to the Tobe team.

“Through our affiliation with The Doneger Group, we will have access to new resources that will enable us to build the Tobe brand and, in particular, develop our Tobe Insights consulting business,” Deane said in a statement.

The 75-year-old Tobe Report is published almost 40 times during the year. Tobe also provides consulting services to retailers and has worked with Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, among others.

Doneger Group, located at 463 Seventh Avenue here, was founded in 1946 as a buying office. It still offers some buying services, but in recent years has evolved into a consulting firm and market source for trends and customized merchandising strategies for retail and fashion companies in many countries. Doneger operates with merchandising market analysts and a “creative services” team, and also has an online marketplace that offers dozens of virtual supplier showrooms.

Doneger Group is expected to open a 3,000-square-foot office this month in the California Market Center in Los Angeles. The company also beefed up its staff of market analysts, adding Amanda Hallay, who is based in Paris, to cover European trade events and trends, and Renee Roman, a former market editor at Seventeen magazine, to cover contemporary sportswear.

This story first appeared in the October 10, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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