DANSKIN TARGETS DISCOUNT CROWD

NEW YORK — Danskin has a new marketing partner. The company has signed a deal to distribute its Freestyle activewear label to all 991 stores in the fast-growing Target chain.
This will not be an exclusive deal, as is the case with Mossimo at Target. But the chain will be the first to reintroduce the Freestyle label, which has been distributed for a handful of years in other chain stores, said Joyce Darkey, senior vice president of marketing for Danskin.
Retailing from $10 to $20, the updated line ships to stores in June. Sports bras, leggings, T-shirts and other basics will be offered in the collection, but the styles, fabrics and colors will be slightly different from Danskin’s signature activewear.
“Basically, we wanted to achieve a price point for that class of trade,” Darkey said. “We saw that 26 percent of the market is sold to the discount trade. Obviously, we don’t want the Danskin brand there.”
The move is in line with Danskin’s plan to broaden its image from manufacturer to brand manager and marketer. Carol Hochman, president and chief executive officer of Danskin, said in a statement: “We see the Target opportunity as a significant step in the development of the company’s branding strategy.”
Danskin is also pursuing licensing opportunities in other categories, for Freestyle with Target, and expects to wrap up a few deals within the next few weeks, Darkey added.