Burlington/Allyn Saint George Make Deal for Labels

by MR Magazine Staff

LAS VEGAS – Burlington Coat Factory has made all of Allyn Saint George’s dreams come true.

Allyn Saint George Licensing and Marketing Co. has reached an agreement giving Burlington Coat Factory rights as exclusive distributor of ASG’s Allyn Saint George and Fumagalli’s brands.

A spring 07 launch of men’s tailored clothing, shirts, ties, accessores and men’s sportswear is planned, with expansion to other product categories expected to follow.

Saint George commented that many of the brands’ licensees are already vendors to BCG “so there will be no initial start-up lag time. Burlington Coat Factory will also be able to purchase from new licensees.”

Exclusive distribution and licensing arrangements have been commonplace in department stores, and are in fact the cornerstone of Federated Department Stores’ branding strategy for Macy’s, and are also commonplace in mass merchandisers. They’ve been less common among off-price chains.

ASG (left) and Fumagalli’s will become BCF house brands.

This arrangement comes less than five months after Bain Capital completed its acquisition of BCF for just under $2.1 billion. Since acquiring the group from the Milstein family and other shareholders, Bain has clearly put its signature on BCF with fashion- and lifestyle-oriented, rather than price-oriented advertising.

Mark Nesci, president and chief executive officer of Burlington Coat Factory, said in a statement, “This is a major step for Burlington Coat Factory and marks a significant strategic commitment to establish exclusive private label brands in our stores which will augment our continued commitment to department store brands in all categories of our business.

“As we continue our expansion, we will continue to offer our customers new brands and product offerings that differentiate us from our competition,” he added. “These brands will be integrated in our men’s and other departments and represent part of our continued commitment to bring to our customer products that stand for fashion, value and price. Our launch will be accompanied by a campaign that will focus attention on these labels in our stores.”

Fumagalli’s will retain its European flavor while the ASG brand will take its customary “American classic” approach. Donald Dolce, senior vice president of ASG, will serve as the liaison between licensees and the BCF merchandising team.