QUIET EXPANSION FOR RAMPAGE

Byline: Kim-Van Dang

LOS ANGELES — In the continuing quest to expand its customer base, Rampage Clothing Co. here has quietly rolled out two new labels in its stores.
While the company made its name as a hot junior resource, chief executive officer Larry Hansel is working to develop products that appeal to women in the 25-to-45-year-old range.
Trilogy, introduced six months ago, is geared toward the career customer. American People, which is only three months old, is a casual denim-driven line. Hansel considers both collections his entree into the better contemporary business.
Repositioning the company is critical in order to ensure growth, he said.
“I don’t want to be a bubble gum store,” he said. “The junior business is over-retailed. We want to fill niches that don’t even exist yet.”
While he would not divulge first-year projections, the ceo said the two lines already account for 15 percent of the product mix in his seven Rampage stores and 12 of his 39 Judy’s stores. Weekly sell-throughs are in the range of 10 to 20 percent, he added.
Trilogy — clean, lined suit separates and dresses in crepes, linens, rayon blends, micro polyester blends, silk, Lycra spandex and angora — is $30 to $120 retail. At those prices, it is winning over customers who gravitate to labels including DKNY, B.C.B.G., Bebe and Ann Taylor, Hansel said, adding that he will begin a Trilogy cashmere program later this year.
American People — knit tops, jeans and woven jackets at $12 to $40 retail — is being offered as a lower-priced alternative to weekend wear labels, including CK. Hansel projected that with the additional lines and a growing retail arm — six new Rampage stores are opening across the country between February and May this year — Rampage Clothing Co. should gross $275 million this year, a $35 million jump from 1994.
In addition, his misses’ apparel business, under the Caren Desiree umbrella, is expected to gross between $60 million and $80 million this year, up from $45 million in 1994.

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