Changing Lanes

Not being a regular Lane Bryant customer myself, for reasons I presumably need not explain, I hadn’t noticed this, but it showed up in a newsletter I get: the LB catalog is being retitled “Woman Within.”

I had no idea why, so I went hunting, and turned up this:

New York-based Redcats USA, the U.S. division of French conglomerate Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), for several years had a licensing agreement to use the Lane Bryant Catalog name. But the rights to Lane Bryant revert back to Charming Shoppes, the Bensalem, PA-based retailer that has owned and operated the Lane Bryant stores since 2001, in October 2007.

Redcats USA chairman/CEO Eric Faintreny says that the name change for Lane Bryant had been thoroughly discussed during the past 18 months. “The choice of Woman Within gives us a name that’s ours alone,” he says. “It’s our own brand. As they say in France, it’s a necessary, but useful pain. We had to move away from the Lane Bryant name in 2007, and we thought this name was extremely suitable for our customers.” From now on, Faintreny notes, there won’t be any confusion between Woman Within and Lane Bryant. Plus, the new name will “refresh the brand,” he says.

Not to mention the fact that the catalog and the stores will be under the same management once more. Similarly, Redcats’ Lerner catalog is being supplanted by something called Metrostyle, and the Lerner name goes back to New York & Co., the retailer formerly known as Lerner.

Redcats also operates a catalog called KingSize, sort of a Lane Bryant for men, where I do buy stuff, which explains why I got this notification.


  1. fritz schranck »

    23 February 2007 · 6:12 am

    I gather that according to these merchants, both Mrs. and Mr. Spratt would eat no lean–or at least they assumed so in deciding to send the woman’s catalog to their male buyers.


  2. McGehee »

    23 February 2007 · 1:47 pm

    My wife complained to me once that she went to a Lane Bryant store expecting to find something that was in the catalog, and that’s how she found out the two entities weren’t the same.

    That, however, was before 2001, so apparently Redcats’ license either pre-dates that year, or someone else had the license before them.

    Also, a few weeks ago a package came for my wife that I could’ve sworn had “King Size” on the return label. It was from LB.

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