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JC Penney hopes own brand will boost sales

JC Penney has launched its largest own brand offer across 600 department stores to help differentiate its offer from rivals and halt sliding sales.

American Living, a lifestyle brand, incorporates a full menswear, womenswear, kidswear, lingerie, accessories and footwear range. It is designed and manufactured under licence by Global Brand Concepts, a division of Polo Ralph Lauren.

American Living focuses on officewear and casual fashion and includes classic polo shirts, cable knit sweaters and cotton sundresses for women. The men’s collection includes sports coats, and boyswear offers khaki trousers, while the girlswear offer features polo dresses.

JC Penney chairman and chief executive Myron Ullman III said: “American Living truly differentiates JC Penney. During the past year, hundreds of our associates have been involved in bringing American Living to life and through their efforts, 40 merchandise categories will be offered to our customers.”

American Living will also be sold online at www.jcp.com. The department store group ran an advertising campaign around US TV coverage of the Oscars to support the launch.

Total sales at JC Penney slid 4.1% to US$729 million (£370.2m) in the 14-week fourth quarter, with like-for-like sales down 2.3%.

Ullman III said: “With no clear indication that the consumer environment will improve this year, we have taken a conservative approach to planning our business to maintain a balance between near-term economic realities and long-term growth opportunities. We will remain focused on improving the customer experience in our stores and providing exciting, stylish merchandise at smart prices that will resonate well with our customers during this period.

“This approach will be seen in American Living and other launches we have planned over the course of the year.”

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