CLAD NO LONGER: The new era at J.C. Penney won’t have the Clad men’s e-commerce site in the mix.
The Plano, Tex.-based retailer will shutter Cladmen.com on April 27. Staffers were told on Friday of the plans.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Launched just this past November, Clad is a partnership between J.C. Penney’s Growth Brands Division and Esquire, in which the magazine’s staff curated items alongside Clad’s buying teams. Promotional sections within Esquire were intended to drive traffic to the site. J.C. Penney owns and operates the site.
The decision to close the site after just three months in business comes as Penney’s chief executive officer Ron Johnson initiates a sweeping overhaul of the retailer’s operations and strategy, as outlined in a two-day summit last week in New York. The site stocks a wide range of designer, contemporary and denim brands for men, such as Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, John Varvatos, Joseph Abboud, Ben Sherman, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Vince and Persol.
Clad got off to a rocky start from the beginning, delaying a planned launch in August until November. The original business plan was for Esquire to publish quarterly “Clad Reports” within its pages, which would also be available on Esquire.com and Cladmen.com. The first “Clad Report” was published in the September issue of Esquire, but the site remained dormant until November.
Once the site was operational, Esquire created editorial on the site in sections titled “Damn Good Advice” and via “Esquire’s Picks” sprinkled throughout.