By  on March 13, 2013

The mammoth launch of Joe Fresh shops inside 681 J.C. Penney stores simultaneously Friday is taking on greater significance than either party would have imagined last July when the deal was struck.

Not simply because it’s Penney’s highest profile and hippest brand launch since the department store’s reinvention began in 2011. It’s also because after steep losses and scaring shoppers off with radical pricing changes, Penney’s seriously needs a winner and something to validate the controversial modernization strategy being implemented by J.C. Penney Co. Inc. chief executive officer Ron Johnson. He’s been dogged by rumors of a possible resignation, which were denied by the company Tuesday.

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