Apparel group Liz Claiborne has entered a confidentiality agreement with J Jill almost a month after it launched an unsolicited bid for the struggling ladies' wear chain.

Claiborne said it would participate in J Jill's exploration of strategic alternatives for the company, including a possible business combination with Claiborne.

J Jill last week responded to Claiborne's bid offer by saying it would consider a sale of the business.

Liz Claiborne boasts a wide range of brands such as Claiborne, Juicy Couture, Liz Claiborne, Mambo, and prAna.