Limited Too, the retailer tailored for the tween market, which sells apparel, swimwear, sleepwear, underwear, footwear, lifestyle and personal care products, is now adding books to its product mix.

Beginning in July, timed for back-to-school shopping, the fashion-oriented store began selling Tuned In, a series of paperback books priced at $5.50, which are aimed at their young female shoppers. The first title in the series, Fast Friends, details the life of preteen Maddy Sparks and three girls she meets in a mall bathroom and becomes instant friends with.

The books are being published by one of Too Inc.’s subsidiaries and will only be available in Limited Too stores, their catalogue and Web site ( Robert Atkinson, director of investor relations at Too Inc., said that the stores "carry, exclusively, its own apparel, accessories and lifestyle items that are brand-right with Limited Too. The merchandising of the Tuned In series is a natural extension of providing our customer more selection than she’s ever seen before in one place." Scott Bracale, executive vice-president of marketing at Limited Too, added that the book series "is an exciting opportunity to promote literacy among tween girls."

Sales figures were not supplied to PW, but according to Atkinson, "The first one has sold well enough so that we’ve ordered three more." The books don’t have a firm release schedule; they are published whenever the author, Julia DeVillers (Girlwise: How to Be Confident, Capable, Cool, and in Control), is finished writing them. It seems the author will be quite busy, as the company hopes to have the first four books out and for sale in a set during the coming holiday season.