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The Limited Returns As Exclusive Brand at Belk Stores

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The Limited holds the dubious distinction of being one of the first in a slew of apparel retail bankruptcies this year. But unlike many others, the mall staple has begun a new chapter.

The Belk department store chain now offers the label in 150 locations and on its site, accessible via TheLimited.com.

“The Limited provides customers with tailored, feminine looks to seamlessly carry the modern woman from work to her social life,” said Nadine Rauer, Belk executive vice president and general merchandise manager. “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.”

In addition to petite and tall sizes, Belk has also extended the collection into plus size for the first time.

Credited with helping to bring the specialty retail model to malls, The Limited was founded in 1963. The core focus of the chain was to help professional young women express their personal styles. Ultimately, the retailer succumbed to a combination of factors, including the rise of fast fashion and the e-commerce-induced store traffic slump.

Last year saw turnover in the company’s C-suite, an attempt by former owners Sun Capital to sell the entity and ultimately bankruptcy, which enabled Belk’s owner Sycamore Partners to scoop it up for a reported $26.8 million.

Belk, which operates just under 300 stores in 16 southern states, will manage The Limited collection as an exclusive, private-label and has plans to add it to 74 more stores next year.

The Limited is one of the few distressed retailers to get a second chance this year. BCBG Max Azria, which filed for bankruptcy in March, was spared through a deal in which Marquee Brands purchased the intellectual property and Global Brands Group acquired the operations. True Religion, which filed in July, successfully restructured during bankruptcy and emerged in October to continue its business operations as usual. Similarly, Payless weathered bankruptcy and emerged in August, subsequently laying out a plan for a more efficient operation with a better customer focus.

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