JC Penney has had mixed results over the last several years; and as a result, it has changed CEOs, strategies, and merchandise plans.
Now, JC Penney is moving into the fast-fashion arena, which has been led by retailers such as H&M and Zara. What exactly is fast fashion? According to Annamma Joy, writing for the European Financial Review:
Fast fashion is “low-priced, quickly produced, and designed for obsolescence. The phenomenon of fast fashion (so-called because such fashion is produced quickly in response to trends, and is deliberately designed for a short shelf life), is a fairly recent development in the fashion world, made possible by globalization, and eagerly embraced by consumers.”
As we have noted at this blog, fast fashion is also known as “cheap chic.”
Jacqueline Renfrow, reporting for FierceRetail, describes the new JC Penney merchandising strategy thusly:
In early September 2015, the JC Penney department store chain launched Belle + Sky, a line of women’s wear that can be produced and turned over at a fast pace, giving JCPenney a fighting chance against apparel retailers such as H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. The new line is still in the testing phase, available online and at 50 of its 1,000 stores, Fortune reported. Prices for items, such as dresses and skinny jeans, range from $14.99 to $59.99.”
“The move could be considerable for Penney, which gets 56 percent of its revenue from apparel. The company is in the midst of a turnaround since the tough times that came after an attempt to go more upscale in 2012 and 2013. But under the leadership of the new CEO Marvin Ellison, the company hopes to become more nimble. He eventually wants private brands to comprise 50 percent of the store’s product, Dallas News reported.”
Click the image to read more from Renfrow.
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I don’t know how this cheap chic concept will work for JCP – Their brand does not have the cache among the young millennials as say an H&M, Forever 21, or even Urban Outfitters.. The average demographic off the typical shopper seems to be well north of sixty. The stores physically are a throw back to the 70’s and 80’s lots of beige. and mauve . Very shop worn in many departments. It is going to take serious capital investment to turn JCP around if it can be done at all. .
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