Exclusivity is paramount in fashion and retailers such as J.C. Penney, Gap and Chico’s are making strides to differentiate themselves from the pack.
Looking to become “the preferred shopping choice for Middle America,” J.C. Penney is inspiring their shoppers with trend-right merchandise at a smart price and providing personalized customer service. The company hired 153 full-time apparel designers and is recruiting committed sales associates.
Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer, said the department store has already exceeded their 2007 sales goal, rising 6 percent to $19.9 billion, and is seeing success with jcp.com, launch of Sephora shop-in-shops, and the American Living collaboration with Ralph Lauren’s new exclusive brands.
To get customers back in the stores, Gap is promoting a new limited edition designer line.
For Design Edition, designers Doo-Ri Chung, Thakoon Panichgul and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, gave their own spin to Gap’s iconic crisp white shirts.
While the launch was not met with the frenzy of previous designer limited edition lines by H&M or Target, company executives were still pleased with customer reaction.
The specialty retailer said several of the stores were mob scenes on the day of the launch, with women taking the shirts right off the mannequins.
The collection is being sold in 100 stores across the country and is available in the majority of Gap’s Manhattan locations. The project is an offshoot of Gap’s partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
After recording a 5.2 percent rise in March same-store sales, Chico’s wants to keep the momentum rolling by growing direct sales, expanding square footage more than 20 percent and focusing on new, less repetitive product offerings in 2007.
In order to expand their reach on the baby boomer market, they will be adding petite sizes to 60 of their new White House/Black Market stores in June, and to Chico’s stores in 2008.
Charles J. Kleman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the company plans to increase square footage with the addition of 130 to 145 new stores and select expansion of existing stores.He added that the chain, which currently has 937 stores, has the potential to grow to 2,000 locations.
The women’s apparel retailer will also change the name of the lingerie brand, Soma by Chico’s, to Soma Intimates, in order to appeal to both loyal Chico’s customers and non-customers.
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@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia