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Tiffany buys luxury handbag label Lambertson Truex.

Luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. has bought 10-year-old upscale handbag brand Lambertson Truex and hired its designer duo to help the company explore the possibility of expanding into handbag and leather accessories.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Shares of Tiffany fell 2.9% Friday to close at $28.10.

The key point of the transaction was Tiffany’s (TIF 28.10, -0.84, -2.9%) ability to hire the label’s designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex. Company spokesman Mark Aaron said hiring the designers was the “real catalyst” to the company’s decision to buy the bankrupt label.

The designers will explore the “development of a collection of handbag and leather accessories to complement” Tiffany’s existing assortment, which includes less than 1% of its sales in its own namesake line of handbags and accessories, Aaron said.

“They are coming in to explore the development and whether it’s feasible for us to launch a large collection of handbags,” Aaron said. “They are both well known and admired in the industry. It makes sense for us to hire expertise. We’ve always kept our options open.”

Aaron said it’s too early to conjecture whether any possible handbag collection will be under the Lambertson Truex label or Tiffany brand. While most of its business is in jewelry, the company known for packaging in its jewelry and other items in a blue box also has reached in other product categories, such as a licensed line of sunglasses.

Lambertson Truex filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March after luxury shoppers across the board lowered discretionary spending. Its owner, Samsonite, put the brand up for sale in December, according to an article in trade paper Women’s Wear Daily.


Circuit City seeks to sell brand, Web site.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Circuit City is looking to sell its brand, trademarks and e-commerce business to Systemax, the same company that purchased CompUSA’s intellectual property in 2008.

According to bankruptcy court filings, the Richmond-based company has entered into a so-called stalking horse agreement with Systemax for $6.5 million. A stalking-horse bid is an initial offer on a bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by the company.

The agreement also includes payments of a scaled percentage of revenues coming from the site.

Other companies should have an opportunity to bid on the assets, if a federal bankruptcy court judge grants a motion for a May 11 auction at a hearing Tuesday.

Circuit City closed its remaining U.S. stores last month and has laid off about 34,000 workers since filing for bankruptcy protection in November.