Women's wear retailer Charming Shoppes has signalled a change in company strategy with the US$35m sale of its non-core Misses apparel catalogue businesses.

The company has agreed to sell the catalogues, known as Crosstown Traders, to Orchard Brands, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital.

The deal includes catalogues and related websites for Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram, Brownstone Studio, Intimate Appeal, Monterey Bay Clothing Company and Coward Shoe.

Charming Shoppes has also agreed to sell the Misses apparel catalogue credit card receivables for $40m to Alliance Data Systems Corporation, with that deal expected to close before the end of the fiscal year on 31 January.

The Crosstown Traders deal, which is expected to close by the end of September, should see the company remaining at its current headquarters in Tucson, Arizona.

Charming Shoppes will retain the Crosstown Traders infrastructure and will provide certain services, including distribution, IT and call centre functions, to Orchard Brands during a transition period.

The two sales should secure the company a pre-tax net sum of $43m, following the deduction of $32m in debts.

"We have made the decision to sell our non-core catalogues as key steps in our strategy to focus on our core brands - Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines - and leverage our leading market share position in women's speciality plus apparel," said Alan Rosskamm, chairman and interim CEO of Charming Shoppes.

Orchard Brands chairman and CEO Neale Attenborough said: "We look forward to incorporating the established and highly-regarded Crosstown Traders brands into the group, as they significantly increase our penetration of the 55-plus market."

Meanwhile, Charming Shoppes is also to explore the possibility of selling its Figi's Gifts in Good Taste catalogue business, as another "key step" in its strategy to focus on its core brands.

The company has also announced the appointment of Lori Twomey to the position of president, direct-to-consumer, leading its direct-to-consumer and e-commerce businesses.