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American Rag Marks Latest Arrival in Stores’ Pursuit of Exclusivity

Federated Department Stores’ latest effort in private brands, American Rag, was rolled out to 120 doors this month, and more are on the way.

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As Federated’s hippest private brand, American Rag could emerge as its fourth-largest brand. Charter Club, which transcends home, apparel and accessories, is the largest, followed by Alfani and INC.

The Federated American Rag collection is inspired by, but different from, what’s sold at the two American Rag authentic vintage stores in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Prices range from $39 to $59 for denim jeans and nondenim pants; $20 to $35 for fashion knit and logo T-shirts; $69 to $99 for outerwear and jackets, and $39 to $49 for woven shirts, fashion sweaters and active “hookups.”

In young men’s, prices will range from $39 to $59 for denim jeans and nondenim cargo twill pants; $25 to $34 for graphic and garment dyed T-shirts; $59 to $79 for outerwear and jackets, and $45 to $49 for woven shirts and fashion sweaters.

Margins in private brands run one to six points higher, depending on the family of business. Even at the lower end of the price spectrum, a private brand remains more profitable for a retailer than a national brand, though the margin is smaller. “That’s nice, but the important part is that we get sales and points of differentiation,” Grove said.

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