The acquisition of Crosstown Traders, Inc. provides Charming Shoppes with an infrastructure for the development and expansion of the Company's Direct- to-Consumer businesses, which will include the Company's catalog and e- commerce sales distribution channels. The development of the Company's Direct-to-Consumer operation is a key step in the preparation for the launch of the Company's own catalog for the Lane Bryant brand in October 2007, when the Lane Bryant catalog trademark reverts to the Company.
Steven Lightman will continue his leadership role as President of Crosstown Traders. Lightman's career of more than 22 years in the direct marketing industry began in 1982, when he joined the Arizona Mail Order Company, the predecessor company of Crosstown Traders. With Arizona Mail Order as a platform, the Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Brownstone Studio, Lew Magram, and the Monterey Bay Clothing Company catalogs were acquired, and Lightman had responsibility for the integration of these catalogs.
Commenting on the completion of the purchase of Crosstown Traders, Inc., Dorrit J. Bern, Chairman, CEO and President of Charming Shoppes said, "I am pleased to complete this strategic acquisition, which strongly positions Charming Shoppes for the attainment of our goals of expanding our service to our customers, and ensuring future growth of the Company. I am very happy to welcome Steve and his organization to Charming Shoppes."
Bern continued, "The acquisition of Crosstown Traders enables us to enter a new sales channel to quickly and meaningfully advance our strategy for growth as a multi-channel retailer. Online selling, now available at each of Charming Shoppes' brands, is experiencing extraordinary growth, which will benefit from Crosstown Traders' operations and expanded infrastructure."