Leading Australian retailer Coles Myer Ltd announced on Thursday it had signed an exclusive deal to sell apparel made by leading US fashion group Liz Claiborne Inc.

The new agreement will see the firm's Myer Grace Bros department stores stock a range of Liz Claiborne casual and collection menswear and womenswear products by August next year.

The Melbourne-based company said the arrangement was an important step in Myer Grace Bros. offering international brands.

Myer Grace, along with Coles Myer's Target and Kmart department store businesses, have performed poorly over the past year during the global economic downturn.