NEW YORK — While the Liz Claiborne brand will be kept alive thanks to a recent deal with JCPenney, the company behind the name is headed in a new direction. Liz Claiborne Inc. announced it is changing its name to "Fifth & Pacific Companies" to better communicate its strategic focus on growing its three global lifestyle brands (Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand). The change is expected to be effective on or about May 15, 2012 at which time the company will begin trading as Fifth & Pacific Companies Inc. (NYSE: FNP).
"While it's difficult to replace an iconic name like Liz Claiborne, we believe that Fifth & Pacific Companies telegraphs who we are today – taking inspiration from New York and California, while describing our reach and our potential. From New York to Los Angeles to Shanghai and beyond, our intrinsically American brands have global appeal, serving customers worldwide with high quality and imaginative product," said Liz Claiborne Inc. CEO William L. McComb.
McComb added: "With the steps we've taken, the new Fifth & Pacific Companies is financially stronger, with a healthy balance sheet and significantly reduced operating risk and complexity. Moreover, we are anchored by three, high-growth retail-based brands with significant expansion potential in global markets, spanning multiple product categories. In short, ours is a momentum portfolio, poised for growth and global expansion."
The name change is Liz Claiborne Inc.'s next step in moving from primarily serving department stores to a direct-to-consumer retailer built around three highly distinctive premium brands with global appeal, the company said.
In October 2011, JCPenney announced that it will acquire the worldwide rights for the Liz Claiborne family of brands, as well as the United States and Puerto Rico rights for the Monet brand for $267.5 million.
The company has been the exclusive licensee for all Liz Claiborne and Claiborne-branded merchandise in the United States and Puerto Rico since August 2010.
The deal includes the entire Liz Claiborne brand portfolio, including Liz Claiborne, Claiborne, Liz, Liz & Co., Concepts by Claiborne, LC, Elizabeth, LizGolf, LizSport, Liz Claiborne New York (LCNY) and Lizwear brands.