Just over a year after it entered the U.S. market with a pop up store in the upscale East Hampton neighbourhood, Canadian-born clothing line Joe Fresh is expanding its reach across the country through a partnership with JC Penney.
The Loblaw-owned fashion line will be available in nearly 700 stores next spring within newly renovated JC Penny locations. The brand will have its own dedicated space ranging in size from 1,000 to 2,500 sq. ft. Joe Fresh apparel will also be available to purchase at JCP.com.
"JC Penney is creating a fun and engaging shopping experience that showcases sought-after brands in its own dedicated space, providing the perfect environment to introduce Joe Fresh apparel to even more Americans, coast to coast," said Joe Mimran, creative director for Joe Fresh, in a release.
Joe Fresh has been going strong since it launched in Canada just over four years ago with clothing for men and women. The retailer later added a children's line, lingerie and a cosmetic collection. Its products are now available in more than 300 locations across Canada, including 12 standalone and studio stores and six U.S. locations in New York and New Jersey.
As U.S. retailers such as Target and Nordstrom rush to set up shop north of the border, Joe Fresh has been moving in the opposite direction, charting a slow but steady expansion course. Its bold move to bloom into an international brand, along with its continued success on home turf, landed Joe Fresh a spot on Marketing's Top 10 Marketers list last year.
"Displayed in its own unique and engaging environment, the Joe Fresh shops will be an important part of JC Penney's repositioning to a completely re-imagined department store," said Ron Johnson, CEO of JC Penney, in a release.
The partnership announcement comes as the struggling JC Penney tries to bounce back from declining sales.
At an event in New York City last January, Johnson unveiled the company's transformation plans for a new brand identity logo and in-store experience.
Johnson also announced plans to streamline merchandise and organize JC Penney locations into a series of 80 to 100 brand shops, rather than an endless sea of racks.
According to Advertising Age, Michael Francis, the former president of JC Penney who abruptly left last month after less than a year with the retailer, devised the store-within-store concept that Joe Fresh will now use. Earlier this month, JC Penney unveiled its new denim shops for the Levi's, Arizona and Buffalo brands. The concept will debut in over 600 stores across the U.S. by Aug. 1.
Originally published in Marketing magazine.