Belk Inc. is building up its offering of products under the Limited brand name.
In 2018, Belk will expand its distribution of Limited products to 224 stores, from the 150 that sell the label. Belk will also debut The Limited denim collection later this month, and in February 2018 petite and tall products will be also available.
Limited is also sold on the Belk web site and sells regular and plus-size dresses, jackets, blazers, suits, tops, bottoms and sweaters. It’s a women’s-only brand.
“We’re committed to not only delivering the products that The Limited is known for, but also expanding the assortment to take this iconic brand to the next level,” said Nadine Rauer, Belk’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager.
Rauer said Limited provides “tailored, feminine looks to seamlessly carry the modern woman from work to her social life.”
In January, The Limited, then owned by Sun Capital Partners, announced it would be closing all 250 of its stores and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But Belk’s owner, Sycamore Partners, stepped in and bought The Limited for nearly $25.8 million in cash and the assumption of certain obligations and intellectual property in February. Belk is now the exclusive distributor for The Limited and has been selling Limited products since October, first online and then via the 150 Belk stores. There are no longer any Limited stores. Asked if Belk would consider reviving Limited stores, a spokeswoman replied, “Not at this time but Belk is always looking for new opportunities to help our customers find a unique way to express who they are, and by carrying The Limited collection, we’re bringing affordable styles to fashion-forward professionals who want to be boardroom-ready while they balance career, family and friends.”
Belk, based in Charlotte, N.C., manages The Limited brand like its Crown & Ivy, Kaari Blue, New Directions and True Craft private brands.
Founded in 1963 by Leslie H. Wexner, The Limited was once a marquee brand in malls across America, and for decades the namesake of Wexner’s retail empire. The Limited peaked in 1990, when it operated 772 shops. Years later, the chain started slumping and Wexner became disillusioned with selling apparel. He sold off a majority stake in The Limited to Sun Capital in 2007, and ultimately the entire stake.
In keeping with his strategy to focus on his more profitable, nonapparel brands — Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works — Wexner in 2007 sold off Express to Golden Gate Capital, which later took Express public.